UNITED KINGDOM Armed Forces rugby league side’s world cup dreams faded in the evening light of the Cabramatta New Era Stadium after an error strewn second half display saw them lose 38-12 to the hosts.

An emotional loose forward Cfn George Clarke said: “We lost that game rather than them winning it. We were bossing them, we had them making errors and worrying, we were on top, we were dominant, then we went away from our plan. In the opening 20 minutes of the second half we forgot all the things our coach has told us. We didn’t complete our sets, we just gave it to them. They are nothing special, we just didn’t keep the momentum.”

Clarke was sin-binned on the half hour of a dominant first half display which saw the UK team on top despite a meagre completion rate of just 50 per cent.

Head Coach Flt Lt Damian Clayton said: “We went in at half time on top at 12-12. That didn’t reflect how well we had played, they thought we were on top, we were on top. The half time talk was positive and then we go out and get beat 26-0 in the second half. We prepared well for the game the lads seemed focused, I don’t think the occasion got to them, they just lost their way, it’s a shame, but we must keep our chins up and our chests out.

“We also have to be professional, we have two games left and we need to make them both wins, it is as simple as that.”

UKAFRL opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Duracell man Sgt Si Wray touched down for his second try of the tournament, after a great cross field kick from AB Ryan Matthews, who then converted the score.

The lead was nothing more than the side deserved, having seemingly shaken off the ghosts of their opening 40-20 defeat to Fiji, but the hosts were never going to lay down and they scored after back-to-back sets on 15 minutes.

Great hands from Sgt Lee Queeley after 20 minutes saw him run in, which was unconverted by Matthews and in truth it was just a continuation of the quality bursts of play by the UK side.

The hosts finally got a warning from the weak referee, but the frustration with not increasing the scoreline boiled over for the tourists as the hosts ran in a converted try through rob Worsley, converted by their captain Mitch Knowles and a rumpus after play the ball incident saw Clarke off.

A great try saving tackle from Gnr Ben Rowan was then eclipsed as the full back clipped over a penalty kick to level the scores as the hosts lost Jade Godbolt, sin-binned, after a fierce charge on SAC(T) Adam Flintham.

A second half loaded with penalties saw the UK side slowly lose their grip, with the hosts extending their lead after 45 minutes and then again on 50 for 12-24.

Queeley said: “Our attitude to bounce back form the Fiji defeat was really positive we had great energy, I think after the break we were probably too energetic and we lost a bit of focus, errors started to come in and we went off plan. We let them back into it, we piggy backed them up the field, which you just cannot do. We should have just got into our phases.”

The half began to have a depressing rhythm of penalty then try, as the Australian side upped the score to 12-28 after 60 minutes and 12-34 after an unfortunate fumble from Rowan.

As the UK team failed to complete their sets the game slipped away, with a late late score sealing the deal.

UKAFRL now face New Zealand at Windsor Sports Complex on July 12 at 6pm local time, with a place win the third and fourth place play off match on July 14 at Wentworthville at 1pm local time.

You can follow the team’s progress on Facebook at: United Kingdom Armed Forces Rugby League or on Twitter: @UKArmedForcesRL with full game highlights on YouTube at: ukafrl2017