Walker scores but Knights lose out in Papua New Guinea
Leeds Rhinos full back Jack Walker marked his England Knights debut with a try but Paul Anderson’s side lost out 32-22 in the second Test against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
Walker was called up into the squad along with club team mates Ash Handley and Mikolaj Oledzki for the final game of the Knights tour however Liam Sutcliffe was ruled out the day before the game through illness.
The Knights got off to a strong start as they went 12-0 up after just 15 minutes thanks to tries from Tom Lineham and Tom Davies, both converted by Dec Patton.
The Kumuls replied through Nixon Putt after 25 minutes before Livett and Handley combined to open up the home defence and put Walker over for his try after 30 minutes. Papua New Guinea crossed for a second try through centre Justin Olam on the hooter but the Knights led 18-12 at the break.
The home side took control of the game at the start of the second half with two tries from Watson Boas and David Mead inside nine minutes to take the lead for the first time in the match. Mead’s try came after a mix up between Walker and Davies and the Catalans player had a simple run in to score.
Nene MacDonald scored the home sides final try to put them 32-18 in front with 22 minutes to go but the game became patchy after that which prevented England gaining any momentum.
Lineham scored his second try after 73 minutes but the conversion was missed by Patton and the Knights were running out of time, trailing 30-22. England chanced their arm after that looking for a couple of late scores but Papua New Guinea were able to absorb the pressure before wrapping up the win with a late penalty from Boas.