Kiwis Thrash England To Restore Pride

Hopes of an England series white wash were somewhat premature as the Kiwis demonstrated all of their potential with this 34-0 victory over a lack lustre home team .

The English were largely disappointing and sorely missed the go forward of Sam Tomkins and the big hits of George Burgess, banned from this game for a clumsy eye gouging incident.

The defence was not as sharpe, the big hits were not as Fearsome and the passing was not as slick, and to be truly world class these boys need to be at that level every week.

A series win is however exactly that, and the Baskerville shield will be held proudly by the English. With players like Elliot Whitehead and Luke Thompson becoming established international quality forwards and Sam Burgess still to return the Great Britain tour down under in 2019 is a must see for all rugby league supporters.

But, this was New Zealand’s day and they looked powerful and resolute from the opening exchanges. England had some missed opportunities which could have gone either way. The opening score came from winger Ken Maumalo who stepped inside the England defence after a wonderful off load centre field by Jared Warea-Hargreaves. Shaun Johnson converted to give the Kiwis and early 6-0 lead.
Despite chances from Elliot Whitehead and George Williams England failed to take their opportunities and this was critical in how the game played out. The unluckiest decision was a superb Tommy Makinson score ruled out for obstruction and this appeared to be a “ harsh call”.

Brisbane Bronco young player of the year for the Kiwis Jamayne Isaako also missed an opportunity when he put a foot in touch and England lost the momentum to take this game when Luke Thompson made his only error of the series by dropping a simple, yet unexpected pass from his captain James Graham.

A series of errors from the English put them off their game with Johnny Lomax almost scoring after a Makinson break and then Jermaine McGillvary making two costly and clumsy mistakes. Oliver Gildart was also denied a score, but as a centre will learn valuable lessons from this test series.

Then the Kiwis put the foot on the gas and boom they were gone and in the clear. Kodi Nikorima showed all of his class in this game and he could become a thorn in the side for the English for many years to come . For the first ball he provided a wonderful pass to second rower Issac Lui who powered past an outstretched Elliot whitehead to score and then he broke the England line and exchanged passes with his half Shaun Johnson before scoring himself. That try was world class and ripped a sprawling English defence to shreds.

Two Johnson conventions to these scores and the Kiwis looked convincing and ruthless with an 18-0 half time lead.

Into the second half and what chances of an England comeback against all the odds. Any thoughts were quickly dismissed when Kodi Nikorima placed a beautiful kick for winger Ken Maumalo to rise majestically above McGillvary to take the four.

Johnson missed the kick and man mountain Warea-Hargreaves was sin binned for a head tackle on Josh Hodgson. You sort of get the impression that Jared does nt like Josh that much .

The English threw everything at the visitors and Makinson’s score was ruled out due to him putting his foot into touch. The Kiwis certainly had their eye on the English winger after his fantastic contribution to this series win.

in the halves for England however, George Williams and Richie Myler largely failed to test the kiwi defence and Gareth Widdup May well have made a difference .

The rest of the game was all New Zealand. Winger McGillvary was sin binned to cap a below average performance from him before The big Melbourne forward Jess Bromwich crashed over from close range .johnson’s conversion made it 28-0 before Joseph Tapine confirmed the New Zealand dominance with a final score converted by Isaiah Papali’i.

This was a well worked victory by a young New Zealand team. Nikorima and hooker Brandon Smith are more than worthy opponents and full back Dallin Watene-Zelezniak looks to be a player of rare quality .

This was a series win however for the English who largely let themselves down today in a disappointing finale to a tremendous test series.


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