Dull Great Britain defeated again

Great Britain’s lousy tour hit a new low as they went down 23-8 to New Zealand.

Yet another insipid offensive display saw Wayne Bennett’s side defeated, and put more pressure on the Australia coach, whose contract expires at the end of this tour.

They were no match for the Kiwis who capitalised on early errors and rarely look threatened thereafter.

While Josh Hodgson did score late on for the Lions following Josh Jones’ offload, the damage had already been done.

The teams exchanged early penalties before Joseph Manu and Shaun Johnson put New Zealand into a commanding 16-2 half-time lead.

Ken Maumalo put further distance between the teams after the break, before Hodgson gave Great Britain a flicker of hope.

But Jamayne Isaako kicked a field goal and added a penalty to end another disappointing match for Bennett’s side.

This defeat, a third in three outings, was the most disappointing. Again, England found some steam in the final quarter, but it would be wrong to call it a second wind, given they never found their first.

Injuries have ultimately disrupted performances, but Bennett’s decision to select six halfbacks and two wingers came under scrutiny from day one and has proved a baffling decision after an injury to Ryan Hall.

Zak Hardaker, who was brought in as a cover outside back, is also injured, meaning halfback Blake Austin was thrown on the wing.

Despite being hammered by the Kiwis, he played well on the whole, despite being dragged into touch early on.

But Jake Trueman and George Williams have yet to play this Tour, which brings Bennett’s selection process into greater question.

Kiwis: Tuivasa-Sheck, Maumalo, Nicoll-Klokstad, Manu, Isaako, Johnson, Marshall, Tetevano, Smith, Waerea-Hargreaves, Nikora, Harawira-Naera, Tapine. Subs: Nikorima, Proctor, Ah Mau, Blair.

Lions: Lomax, McGillvary, Hughes, Connor, Austin, Widdop, Hastings, Hill, Hodgson, Burgess, Bateman, Whitehead, Graham. Subs: Jones, Clark, Walmsley, Thompson.