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Kumuls embarrass Great Britain Lions with 28 - 10 test match win

Former Great Britain captain Alan Prescott, who skippered the Lions to the famous 1958 Battle of Brisbane test victory despite a broken arm, must today be spinning in his grave.

The revival of the Lions shirt the Saint Helens prop wore so proudly has not produced the response required from top to bottom – leading to yet another dismal display and a fourth test defeat in as many matches.

Surely, Great Britain’s humiliating 28-10 defeat by Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby means the end of the line for coach Wayne Bennett.

The Lions led 10-0, but then a try just before the break revived the home fans and more importantly the team meaning the second half was one-way traffic.

The Kumuls played smarter and more direct, winning quick play the balls and constantly seeing the Lions back-pedalling with the tourists’ defence becoming increasingly jaded in response.

In defence the home side were a lot more aggressive too, giving no soft yards to the GB ball carriers.

The hosts had that sheer will to will, whereas the Great Britain side looked like one who could not wait to get on the plane after the culmination of too long a season.

The return of the Lions was not supposed to happen like this, with this first ever defeat by the Kumuls following on from the opening loss to Tonga and back-to-back losses to New Zealand.

After building well over the past two years, this match concluded an utterly deflating experience for the British international game.

It is also a massive lost opportunity.

Papua New Guinea destroyed Britain by getting out of dummy half quickly, draining the visitors of energy and allowing their halves to kick on the front foot.

It meant that the Kumuls cleverly engineered where they played the game – which in the sultry conditions – meant the Lions were always up against it.

Great Britain simply had no response to that, but they were not helped by the loss of skipper James Graham with a head injury in the first tackle of the match.

Early scores from Blake Austin and hooker Josh Hodgson gave GB a 10-0 lead, but the Kumuls pulled a try back in the last action of the first half through substitute Edwin Ipape and Kyle Laybutt added the conversion to trim the tourists' lead to just four points.

Scrum-half Watson Boas, who plays for League One club Doncaster, and Melbourne centre Justin Olam scored tries which put the Kumuls in front and full-back Alex Johnston and second-rower Nixon Putt added others as fell to to a hugely-embarrassing 28-10 defeat.


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