Lions collapse in defeat against Kumuls

Great Britain Lions surrendered a 10-0 lead to lose 28-10 against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.

Lions halfback-turned-winger Blake Austin managed to score the first try of the game, after finding some space in the corner. Gareth Widdop missed the conversion, but it was still the first time the Lions had led on the tour.

It soon got better as Josh Hodgson found a gap from dummy half and scored. Widdop converted to take the Lions into double figures.

The Kumuls were stirring and pulled one back just before the break as Edwin Ipape went over. Kyle Laybutt scored the conversion to bring the hosts back to within four points.

That gave the hosts the energy going into the second half, and they took advantage of a labouring Lions defence.

Tries from Watson Boas, Justin Olam, Alex Johnston and Nixon Putt sealed a historic win for the Kumuls. It was their first win over Great Britain in almost 30 years.

This tour has asked some serious questions that need answering for the future of international rugby league in the UK.

Granted, there have been injuries, but you would still expect the players that were selected would still be able to do a job and they just haven’t.

Some blame must lie at the top, some decisions have been frankly baffling. Selecting six halfbacks and only two wingers, and then flying out a substitute winger to only insist on using a halfback on the wing.

It is also worth saying that some of the players have not been good enough. You can excuse the ones that are playing out of position, but some of the others just haven’t turned it on for the international stage.

Either way, a serious change is needed from the top, down.

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