GREAT Britain were left to rue a Jermaine McGillvary dropped ball after falling to a 12-8 defeat in the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland.

The Lions, featuring Saints pair Jonny Lomax and Alex Walmsley, were looking to bounce back from last week's defeat by Tonga - but alas it ended in defeat.

After a turgid opening 40 minutes, in which the sides went in 2-2 at half-time, the tourists were hit by two tries in six minutes to trail by 10 points.

But with Lomax - who had a fine game on both sides of the ball - interjecting well from full back and the halves slowly getting into the game after a flat first half, Britain rallied.

Replacement hooker Daryl Clark went over for a try after a surge to the line by Walmsley to give them hope.

And when McGillvary flew in at the corner four minutes from time, after a fine Lomax pass in the build up, the comeback looked complete, but the video replay showed a clear knock-on.

That was the last chance - and despite the thrilling comeback, it was another disappointing performance from Wayne Bennett's men, following the opening 14-6 defeat by a Tongan Invitational XIII a week earlier.

The first half was an arm wrestle with the only scores before from penalties by Jamayne Isaako and Gareth Widdop.

The Kiwis produced an error-strewn first half but still managed to create the only try scoring chances, with centre Joseph Manu failing to finish off a break by Benji Marshall and former Leeds winger Ryan Hall coming to the rescue by intercepting Jerome Hughes' pass near his own line.

The breakthrough came eight minutes into the second half, when full-back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck wriggled free of Walmsley's tackle to get Isaako racing away for the opening try.

Three minutes later, second rower Briton Nikora touched down a Marshall kick only to have the try disallowed for a knock-on in the build-up, but the reprieve was short-lived as substitute Corey Harawira-Naera used brute force to get the ball over the line despite the attention of four defenders.

Isaako kicked his second goal to open up a 10-point lead which Great Britain could not close despite the late rally.