Tom Davies crossed for a try as England Knights beat Papua New Guinea 16-12 in Lae.
The second-string Knights, back in action after a five-year absence, trailed 8-4 early in the game after the hosts scored tries through Brendon Nima and Moses Meninga.
Leeds centre Liam Sutcliffe scored an early try for England and Grand Final wingers Tom Lineham (Warrington) and Davies added others before half-time, with Dec Patton kicking two conversions, to put the tourists into a 16-8 lead.
The home side scored the only try of the second half, as the Knights clung on for victory and they will seek to wrap up the series when the teams meet again in Port Moresby next Saturday.
Davies’ Wigan team-mate Sam Powell played hooker in the match.