Joe Philbin says making his Great Britain debut at the weekend was the proudest moment of his career but admits defeat to New Zealand put a dampener on the experience.
Despite a late fightback the Lions fell to a narrow 12-8 defeat to the home side in Auckland with Daryl Clark grabbing GB’s only try of the game.
Philbin made an impact from the bench with his trademark wrecking ball runs but after the game spoke about his disappointment at not coming away with the result.
“Obviously losing puts a bitter taste on today,” said the prop.
“It is the proudest moment of my Rugby League life so far to date and I got a bit emotional there at the start singing the national anthem. However, it’s a results business and we didn’t quite manage to get the result we wanted which puts a bitter spin on it.
“I think for the first 10 minutes I needed to get myself up to that pace.
“I’ve not played at that pace for a while having not played for a few weeks. After that I got my second wind and I felt good, I felt alright in the game and I’ll be a lot better for that run if I get my shot again next week.”
Defeat means GB have suffered back-to-back losses so far on the tour down under and will look to bounce back when they face New Zealand again on Saturday.
Philbin believes they can take a lot of confidence from their second half display and will look to take that momentum into this weekend.
“For the second half I thought we were wearing them down well. In the first half they profited from our errors but second half we played a very good brand of rugby and that’s what we want to look towards playing next week.”
Elsewhere, Ben Murdoch-Masila played a starring role as the Tonga Invitational XIII beat world number one ranked side Australia 16-12.
Upcoming international fixture
New Zealand vs Great Britain Lions, Saturday 9 November, 7am (UK)