Great Britain's Elliott Whitehead admits Lions have "let themselves down" and need PNG response

Elliott Whitehead meets locals after flying into PNG with Great Britain.
Elliott Whitehead meets locals after flying into PNG with Great Britain.
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GREAT BRITAIN'S Elliott Whitehead says the under-pressure tourists are "buzzing" after their heroes welcome from Papua New Guinea - and hope that will inspire a much-needed win.

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The Lions have been treated like rock stars since arriving in the country ahead of Saturday's one-off Test in Port Moresby.

Great Britain's Elliott Whitehead in last week's loss against New Zealand. (PIC: Martin Hunter / www.photosport.nz /SWpix.com)

Great Britain's Elliott Whitehead in last week's loss against New Zealand. (PIC: Martin Hunter / www.photosport.nz /SWpix.com)

Papua New Guinea is arguably the most passionate rugby league country in the world and excited fans have followed the Lions all over.

After a dismal first leg of the tour in New Zealand - losing to the Kiwis twice and a Tonga Invitational XIII - Wayne Bennett's side are desperate to finish the trip with a success.

Canberra Raiders second-row Whitehead said: "It's their national game here and we want to put a good performance in for them.

"Them showing their support by coming to the airport like they did and everywhere we go really buzzes us up a little bit and we have some energy going into this week now.

"It's been really good. The locals have made us feel really welcome and it's going to be a good experience so I'm looking forward to it all.

"We have been disappointing (on tour) and we have let ourselves down.

"We've got one more game to play and hopefully we can get that win. We have a lot to fix up but sire we're capable of doing that."

The former Bradford Bulls star was only a few months old when the Kumuls earned their solitary victory over Great Britain in Goroka in 1990.

PNG will fancy their chances of repeating that feat given the state the Lions have been in so far.

But Yorkshireman Whitehead insisted: "We've got a good squad and hopefully we can put a good performance in for the locals.

"They deserve to have some good rugby games here and hopefully we can do that and get them all cheering.

"Jack Hughes and Joe Philbin were here last year with the England Knights and they said the atmosphere was great.

"I'm looking forward to that and I'm sure there'll be a lot of people watching us at training as well."