The return to the international game of Great Britain’s rugby league Lions hasn’t gone to plan with defeats at the hands of Tonga and New Zealand in the first two legs of their tour of the southern hemisphere.
The Lions have struggled to unlock opposition defences in both of those outings and their efforts to make the most of their tryscoring chances haven’t been helped by the news that former Leeds winger Ryan Hall will miss the rest of the tour with a dislocated knee.
Zak Hardaker will move from centre to the wing to cover that loss with second-row Jack Hughes making his Lions debut as part of Wayne Bennett’s reshuffle for the second Test against New Zealand.
Great Britain had their moments in Auckland last week but let the Kiwis off the hook with poor execution, epitomised by Jermaine McGillvary dropping the ball over the line in the dying minutes.
New Zealand were guilty of wastefulness themselves but the cutting edge they possess was highlighted by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s brilliant break and offload to set up a try for Jamayne Issako. At that point the game was locked at 2-2 midway through the second half before Tuivasa-Sheck’s intervention broke Lions’ resistance.
The Kiwi backs are likely to prove the difference once again and a punt on mercurial full-back Tuivasa-Sheck to touch down could be the best betting approach. RTS has scored 14 tries in 19 games for his country and is the one superstar three-quarter on show.