Kiwis become Lion tamers

New Zealand survived a late fight back by Great Britain in Christchurch to record their first win in the rugby league Tri-Nations series 18-14 and  keep their title defence hopes alive.

Once again, the Kiwis conceded two converted tries in the last five minutes, however this time they were able to hold on for victory.

The lack of match fitness at international level could be seen in the Lions who struggled for most of the game with cohesion and to keep pace with the physical New Zealand side.

However, Brian Noble’s men will take some encouragement into next week’s battle with Australia in Sydney next Saturday.

The Lions could be without prop Adrian Morley, after the Warrington prop looks set to make yet another trip to judiciary following his high tackle on New Zealand captain Ruben Wiki after just two minutes of play.  

The incident looked to be another brain explosion from the former Sydney Roosters player and he later confirmed his reputation fro a lack of discipline when he punched fullback Brent Webb in the head.

It was the Australian born Webb who scored the first try of the match when he scored a tremendous individual 90m try from a kick return.

Leeds five eighth Danny McGuire had a chance to put the Lions back in front just after halftime but he spilled the ball in a Webb tackle as he dived over the line.
In reply, Motu Tony and Iosia Soliola touched down for New Zealand and with Jones producing a 100 percent kicking success rate the home side led 18-2 with 10 minutes remaining, before conceding the two late tries.
Wiki said it had been a tough match from the outset.
“It was the Poms’ (Great Britian side) first game and we needed to lift from last week’s effort.
“It was a good grind. The first 20 minutes was unbelievable and both sides felt it.”
Great Britain captain Jamie Peacock said the Lions had let themselves down.
“We worked hard at the last minute to get back into the game but I’m very disappointed with the way we performed,” he said.
“We didn’t complete many sets and build pressure really — that’s what Test matches are about, building pressure and we fell short.”
Great Britain will fly to Australia on Sunday to prepare for the second match in the series.

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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