WARRINGTON Wolves players carried the fight to New Zealand this morning, but they could not help Great Britain to a first victory on their tour Down Under.

All of the Lions' points came from Wire players – a Daryl Clark try and two Gareth Widdop goals – but Wayne Bennett's side slipped to a 12-8 defeat at Auckland's Eden Park.

It meant Joe Philbin's Great Britain debut and Chris Hill's 31st international cap ended in disappointment and they will wonder what might have been.

Warrington Guardian:

Joe Philbin is tackled by Adam Blair and Kodi Nikorima. Picture by Brett Phibbs/photosport.nz/SWpix.com

Had Huddersfield winger Jermaine McGillvary held onto the ball during his late dive over the try line, it would have given the tourists at least a draw and presented Widdop with a touchline kick for victory.

Unfortunately, the video referee spotted Kenny Bromwich's tackle had dislodged the ball from McGillvary's grasp and saved the game for his side.

It is now two defeats from as many games for the Lions since their reincarnation following last week's 14-6 reverse to a Tongan Invitational XII.

That game was punctuated by a lack of creativity and for much of this game, the pattern was the same.

Too often, particularly in the first half, Great Britain were one-dimensional with ball in hand and easily repelled by the New Zealand defence.

They were given plenty of chances by handling errors from the home side, but came away only with a Widdop penalty in the first half after he cancelled out Jamayne Issako's tee kick to send the sides in level at 2-2.

Warrington Guardian:

Gareth Widdop kicked two goals from as many attempts. Picture by Renee McKay/photosport.nz/SWpix.com

The Kiwis had lost Kieran Foran to a shoulder injury after just six minutes, but they grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck after the break.

The brilliance of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck shattered the defensive line before his offload allowed Issako to cross for the game's first try.

When Corey Harawira-Naera powered over shortly afterwards, it looked as if New Zealand would canter away.

However, aided and abetted by Clark's injection of impetus from dummy-half, Great Britain set about fighting back.

Not helped by a painfully slow ruck as the Kiwis set about causing as much disruption as possible, their attempts in that respect ended up presenting Clark with the kind of opportunity he thrives upon.

Breton Nikora stripped the ball from Alex Walmsley's grasp on the New Zealand line, with Clark picking up the loose ball and holding off the cover to touch down.

It was vintage Clark as he vindicated his selection, while Philbin did his own chances of keeping his place for next week's second Test in Christchurch little harm.

Warrington Guardian:

Gareth Widdop could not help Great Britain to victory. Picture by Renee McKay/photosport.nz/SWpix.com