England were held to a unexpected draw by a highly committed Cumbria at an emotional Recreation Ground in Whitehaven. England led 6-0,then 12-6 and 18-12 before Cumbria scored the last points. to give us the 18-18 draw. Tony Clubb, Garreth Carvell and Richie Myler scored England’s tries, with Kyle Amor, John Paul Brocklebank and Scott McAvoy responding for Cumbria.
The match had been arranged to pay tribute to ex-Workington and Whitehaven forward Garry Purdham, who was a victim of the Cumbria shooting on 2 June. A crowd of 5,250 watched the game, with the money raised from the match going to support Garry Purdham’s children.
The game also doubled up as warm-up for the Four Nations, with England facing Papua New Guinea and host countries New Zealand and Australia in October and November. England coach Steve McNamara said the game helped him resolve some selection issues ahead of today’s announcement of the 24-strong tour party.