AAP Rugby

Lions look to finish league tour on a high

By AAP Newswire

Great Britain will look to finish their rugby league tour of the southern hemisphere with a win over Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.

The Lions were beaten 23-8 by the Kiwis in Christchurch on Saturday night, which marked their third defeat in as many games on tour.

They opened their campaign with a 14-6 loss to Tonga and then went down to New Zealand 12-8 in Auckland last week.

The final leg of their tour will come next weekend against the Kumuls in Papua New Guinea and Lions coach Wayne Bennett said he was eager to put a good performance out there.

"I don't want to go up there and not play well," Bennett said. "So it's important to us."

Bennett indicated he would likely make a handful of changes for the clash to ensure the whole touring party were given a run during the trip.

The Lions are thin on the ground in the outside backs following an injury to Ryan Hall, which forced Blake Austin to play on the wing against the Kiwis.

Austin endured a mixed night after a couple of early errors but Bennett praised his ball carrying.

Overall, Bennett said his side were unable to match New Zealand and Tonga, who were full of NRL regulars.

"There's a standard in the NRL and we've got to come up to that standard," he said.

Austin aside, John Bateman was one of Great Britain's best against the Kiwis as he produced a tireless effort in attack and defence.

Papua New Guinea will be no pushover for the Lions after they ran Fiji close before going down 22-20 in Christchurch on Saturday.