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