Great Britain defeated by Tonga in their Rugby League return

England have just reached the Rugby Union World Cup final for the fourth time, but in Rugby League it's not been so good for Great Britain.

Great Britain received a rude awakening on their return to international Rugby League today when they were beaten 14-6 in their opening tour match by a Tonga Invitational XIII in Hamilton, New Zealand.

After being mothballed for 12 years, the Lions returned with high hopes for their tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea but instead they became the latest victims of the rise of Tonga.

Although a legal dispute between the old governing body and the International Rugby League meant the hosts were forced to play under an Invitational banner, the game was given full Test-match status and the near full-strength Tongans showed their brilliant 2017 World Cup exploits were no fluke.

Kristian Woolf's men beat the Kiwis on their way to the last four two years ago before pushing England all the way in a dramatic semi-final.

And their display in their first meeting with Great Britain proved beyond doubt they are worthy of tier one status.
Curious Cdn
Hey, relax.

The Tongans don't eat their defeated enemies, any more.
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Hey, relax.
The Tongans don't eat their defeated enemies, any more.

Well they should do. It's Rugby League.
Watching Kiwis - GBL League Oceana Cup?
RTS is such a freak!
NZ 6-GB2 54th min.
New Zealand 12-8 Great Britain

Great Britain lost to New Zealand in Auckland - their second consecutive defeat at the start of their 2019 tour.

Seven days after being beaten by Tonga Invitational XIII, Great Britain had the better of the first half but went in drawing 2-2 at the interval.

New Zealand took control after half-time, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's brilliance setting up Jamayne Isaako, before Corey Harawira-Naera powered over.

Those tries were enough for the Kiwis, despite Daryl Clark's reply.

Jermaine McGillvary was inches away from a dramatic late score which would have brought Great Britain level with a touchline kick to follow, but Kenny Bromwich produced a stunning last-ditch tackle on the try line to dislodge the ball from the Huddersfield winger's grasp.

Wayne Bennett's side were strong in defence once more, but again struggled to break down their opposition at the other end of the field for long periods and have managed just 14 points in their first two games of the tour.

The Kiwis struggled for creativity in the first half too, not helped by the loss of half-back Kieran Foran to a shoulder injury just six minutes into his international return after a two-year absence.

But full-back Tuivasa-Sheck was at his mercurial best to dart through a gap in the Great Britain defensive line and offloaded for winger Isaako to touch down in the corner.

Kiwi forward Briton Nikora's effort was ruled out by the video referee for a knock-on, but the hosts did not have to wait long for their second score as four Great Britain defenders could not halt Harawira-Naera's charge for the line.

A typical opportunist try from Warrington hooker Clark left Great Britain 12 minutes to overturn a four-point deficit, but the tiring Kiwis held out under growing pressure from the visitors.

What's next?

Great Britain play the second of two Tests against New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday, 9 November (07:00 GMT kick-off).

New Zealand: Tuivasa-Sheck; Maumalo, Nicoll-Klokstad, Manu, Isaako; Foran, Marshall (capt); Tetevano, Nikorima, Waerea-Hargreaves, Nikora, Bromwich, Tapine.

Interchanges: Hughes, Harawira-Naera, Ah Mau, Blair.

Great Britain: Lomax; McGillvary, Hardaker, Connor, Hall; Widdop, Hastings; Hill, Hodgson, Burgess, Bateman, Whitehead, Graham (capt).

Interchanges: Jones, Philbin, Clark, Walmsley.
Referee: Chris Kendall
Tonga beat Staya Roos 16-12.
Good bash!
The Indomitables: The Great Britain rugby league team that toured Australia and New Zealand on the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable
7.30 tonite KIWI vs. G.B. in Christchurch (Crikey)
The Princess, Shaun Johnson, looking for redemption.
OI !
Good game from a depleted GBRL .
Quote: Originally Posted by NZDoug View Post

Good game from a depleted GBRL .

Hi lites
Comeback tour ends in 4-0 whitewash

By Andrew Aloia
BBC Sport
16 November 2019

Papua New Guinea 28-10 Great Britain

Great Britain suffered a 4-0 whitewash on their comeback tour after an effervescent Papua New Guinea stunned the Lions in Port Moresby.

The defeat will intensify scrutiny of Lions and England coach Wayne Bennett, who is now out of contract.

Justin Olam, Watson Boas, Alex Johnston and Nixon Putt tries, following Edwin Ipape's stunning first-half score, gave PNG only their second win over Britain.

The Lions failed to register a second-half point to end the disastrous tour.

Bennett's team selection, as it has been since naming an imbalanced squad short of outside backs, again raised questions as half-back Blake Austin was once more played out of position on the wing, leaving Ash Handley out despite the Leeds Rhinos man being drafted into camp as an emergency replacement for the Lions' first trip to PNG for 23 years.

A physically demanding month had left the Lions nursing a number of injuries, and with the first hit-up of the game PNG's patio-building prop Luke Page inflicted more pain by flattening Great Britain captain James Graham - a knock that the 34-year-old failed to recover from as he was forced out following a head-injury assessment.

It was Great Britain who opened the scoring through Austin, the makeshift winger darting over in the corner after 14 minutes having failed with a diving effort a couple of minutes earlier.

For the first time in four games since the Lions came out of a 12-year hibernation, following a defeat by Tonga and two losses to New Zealand, the Brits led.

Josh Hodgson's second try in as many weeks, stepping through a static PNG defence from close range, then silenced the passionate home crowd that had earlier revelled in their team's barnstorming start.

Edene Gebbie appeared to land a sensational try in response on the left, but his aerial acrobatics were not rewarded as the video referee ruled the ball had crossed the whitewash when grounded.

With the last play of the first half, however, the Kumuls got the try their efforts deserved as Ipape stepped through two weak attempted tackles to race 65 metres to score.

Boas, who plays in England's third tier with Doncaster, added a second with sheer speed after the break, with Rhyse Martin converting to edge the Kumuls ahead.

Olam added to the advantage, collecting a deflected kick from Wartovo Puara, and Johnston dived over on the left edge for a fourth Kumuls try after the hosts bobbled, bounced and shifted the ball wide with free-flowing abandon.

Putt's try, profiting after Jonny Lomax's spill of a high kick, completed the famous win - PNG's first over Great Britain for 29 years.

Defeat in Papua New Guinea, the only country in the world where rugby league is a national sport, meant the tourists signed off their international return in disastrous fashion.