18 hours ago - 2 Likes
Second half blues again for the Kiwis
Great Britain produced a superb second-half display to overcome a spirited New Zealand side by 22-12, earning their first win of the Tri-Nations series.
But the Lions responded in excellent fashion after the break with Terry Newton bursting through to touch down.
Stuart Reardon then added a brace of tries in two minutes and three late goals sealed the Great Britain victory.
New Zealand had the better of the early exchanges and it required some cool heads from Brian Carney and Paul Wellens in defence to cope with their kicking game.
But it was the Lions who put the first points on the scoreboard with a penalty from Farrell on 10 minutes after New Zealand captain Ruben Wiki was penalised for holding in the tackle in front of the posts.
Soon after, Keith Senior was inches away from extending the Lions' advantage after Sean Long dabbed the ball through, but Vinnie Anderson came to New Zealand's rescue.
But Great Britain's generally poor kicking game was slowly handing the territorial advantage back to their opponents.
And after giving the home side several warnings, New Zealand took the lead on 24 minutes with Williams at the heart of the attack.
The 19-year-old drove the ball down the left just inside the British half before slipping out a superb pass to winger Shontayne Hape who stepped inside and released Ali Lauitiiti to go in under the posts.
Brent Webb made no mistake with the conversion to give New Zealand a 6-2 lead.
And soon after another loose kick from Long put his side under pressure, the Kiwis extended the lead.
Kiwi hooker Louis Anderson flung a desperate pass over his head and Williams latched onto the loose ball and muscled through two attempted tackles to dive over.
Webb added the extras for a well-deserved 12-2 interval lead.
But after the half-time break, the Lions came out full of purpose and were rewarded for a bright start with a try from hooker Terry Newton.
They stretched the Kiwi defence before working the space for Newton to dart over from dummy-half and give Sculthorpe the easy task of adding the conversion.
A rejuvenated Great Britain were attacking with much more bite, and after Long caused panic in the Kiwi defence, Stuart Reardon took advantage of the looped pass to dive over in the corner and bring Britain level.
Better was to follow though as Danny McGuire, closely marked throughout the first half, finally found some space.
The 21-year-old danced around three attempted tackles before sprinting into the gap and releasing Reardon again with a long pass.
Reardon had to slide to his knees to take the ball, but managed to keep his momentum going and regain his feet again go over in the corner for his second of the match and a 16-12 lead.
New Zealand refused to lie down though and continued to ask serious questions of the British defence.
It was left to returned skipper Farrell to settle Lions nerves as he stroked over a penalty, giving GB an 18-12 lead after New Zealand were penalised for holding in the tackle.
Iestyn Harris, making his return to international rugby league, marked his return with a penalty from in front of the posts and a 20-12 lead to Great Britain.
And when Harris knocked over his second kick of the game in the dying seconds, the game - and the precious two Tri-Nations points - were safe for Britain.
Great Britain 22 defeated New Zealand 12 Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield, England
GREAT BRITAIN: Wellens, Carney, Gleeson, Senior, Reardon, McGuire, Long, Fielden, Newton, Morley, Peacock, Farrell, Sculthorpe, Ellis, Bailey, Harris, Higham, Johnson, O'Loughlin.
NEW ZEALAND: Webb; Meli, Vagana, Toopi, Hape; Anderson, Leuluai; J Cayless, L Anderson, Wiki (capt), Swann, Kidwell, Williams. Subs: Paul, N Cayless, Rauhihi, Lauitiiti.