England’s bid to wrap up a series whitewash win over New Zealand at Elland Road ended in an embarrassing 34-0 drubbing. Wayne Bennett’s side went into the match in Leeds boasting an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, but looking to compound the tourists’ misery by winning the third and final clash.
However, it was the Kiwis who produced a stirring display from the first whistle as winger Ken Maumalo scored an early try, while further efforts from Isaac Liu and Kodi Nikorima gave them an 18-0 half-time lead.
It might not have been so plain-sailing if player-of-the-series Tommy Makinson had not had a first half try harshly disallowed, while Oliver Gildart was also denied a try by the television match official.
In the second half, Maumalo touched down his second try in the corner before Jesse Bromwich and Joseph Tapine crossed in the final 10 minutes, while Makinson also had a second try ruled out in the game.
Afterwards, Bennett said: “We were just outplayed, weren’t as good as we had been. New Zealand were on their game and deserve the win. We had our moments, if we could have taken one of those tries it could have been different. “We have to learn from it and accept the fact they were too good.”
Kiwis coach Michael Maguire added: “It was one we needed. The boys have really put in over the last six weeks and worked hard for a result like that. This group has really grown, it’s the first time we’ve been together.
“We did the things we said we were going to do. I was really pleased the boys came together and put a lot of pressure on England. “I have got a really big belief in this group. I think we have got something special, some real passionate young men.”