Lions must learn from England’s experience – Graham

Great Britan's James Graham. Picture: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz /SWpix.com
Great Britan's James Graham. Picture: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz /SWpix.com
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GREAT BRITAIN captain James Graham says his side will use valuable past experience of playing Papua New Guinea to ensure they are not on the end of a huge shock tomorrow.

The Lions conclude their four-game tour of the southern hemisphere with a one-off Test against the physical Kumuls in Port Moresby.

Great Britain have lost all their games so far having been on the wrong end of scorelines against both Tongan Invitational XII and, on two occasions, New Zealand.

St George-Illawarra prop Graham is wary of what the less-fancied Papuans could do, too.

“It’s my first time here as it is for the majority of the group,” said the 34-year-old.

“But it’s not my first time playing against PNG.

“I’ve played against them a number of times. The first was the 2008 World Cup opening game for England and that’s a game you could make a case that we should have lost (trailing at half-time before winning 32-22)

“You learn a lot from those sort of things. You can’t afford to get caught off guard.

“That game was in a similar sort of environment in Townsville – hot, humid, distractions – stuff like that.

“We won’t be caught out on the weekend; we’ll be prepared and we are expecting a tough, physical game.”

It was a bigger margin of victory when England won the World Cup quarter-final 36-6 in Melbourne two years ago.

But Graham maintained: “It was a tough, physical encounter - a game that was never safe.

“It was a tough one for us and we had to work extremely hard that day to get the win.

“We are going to have to work extremely hard again if we want to give ourselves an opportunity to win the game on the weekend.”