NZ, who were the home side in the clash had too many weapons and the English side couldn’t match them, with NZ running out 4 tries to 2 winners.
Trailing 18-0 at half-time, England looked down and out, and the result seemed to be heading for a blow-out.
This wasn’t to be however as England stormed back scoring two tries in two minutes through James Roby and Gareth Widdop to bring the scoreline back to 18-10.
That was as close as the visitors got however, after some Benji Marshall magic resulted in the try that all but sealed the loss for England.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall was perhaps NZ’s best besides Marshall, and the try he scored showed glimpses of just how much better he is this year, when he beat five tacklers in a 25 metre run to the try-line.
Benji Marshall was not entirely pleased with his side’s performance however and admits that they have areas in which they can improve on.
“It was tough. The boys were struggling a bit physically and we’re a bit drained obviously … we’ve still got a lot to work on.”
The English had perhaps the try of the game however after they scored off the restart from their first try with Gareth Widdop finishing off an 80 metre bltiz courtesy of some nice lead-up work from Michael Shenton and Kevin Brown.
James Graham, who was filling in as captain for the English side said that his team were far too inconsistent and that they too need to pick up their game.
“You just can’t afford to give a quality side like the Kiwis that sort of start. We showed in patches we’re good enough, we can do it for 15-20 minutes but we need to put an 80-minute performance in.”
The only sour note for the NZ side was that winger Manu ‘The Beast’ Vatuvei seems all but certain to miss the remainder of the tournament after he broke two bones in his forearm.