MX23RW : Friday, April 19 12:58:34| >> :600:15018673:15018673:

Bennett hails ‘special’ England after comeback win over New Zealand

Oliver Gildart scored a solo match-winning try.

England coach Wayne Bennett hailed a “pretty special” team after watching them twice come from behind to beat New Zealand 18-16 at Hull to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

The Kiwis, fresh from a 26-24 win over world champions Australia, were leading 16-14 with 14 minutes to go at the KCOM Stadium but were sunk by a wonderful solo try from debutant centre Oliver Gildart.

Sam Tomkins and Jake Connor also scored tries for new-look England to get the post-World Cup era off to a winning start.

“I hope you all realise you’ve got a pretty special footy team,” Bennett said. “The English should be really proud of them.

“They’re a great group of guys, they work really hard. We couldn’t have given any more, we didn’t have a bad player.

“There are about 10 guys that played in the World Cup who are not here, so we’re building some depth, which is important, and we’re building a lot of young men with desire who really want to rattle the cages of Australia and New Zealand.

“It was a wonderful game and the boys have given everything they’ve got. It was important for both teams to play like we did today to show everybody that it’s a full-on Test series.

“It’s the best of three games and I’ve no doubt next week won’t be any easier, it will be tougher because New Zealand will want to win.”

Winger Tom Makinson was chosen by his team-mates as player of the match on his second Test appearance.

Bennett said: “He was outstanding, I just couldn’t believe what he did. The more bodies they put in front of him, the harder he ran at them.”

Of Gildart’s match-winning try, Bennett said: “It was a great centre’s try, we don’t see enough of them.

“He did a great job, 50 metres, beat two or three players on the way, it was great to watch.”

Sean O’Loughlin File Photo
Sean O’Loughlin came off during the match due to injury (Martin Rickett/PA)

The only disappointment for England was the loss of captain Sean O’Loughlin with a recurrence of a long-standing calf injury that will almost certainly force him to miss next Sunday’s second Test at Anfield.

“Luke Thompson came on and did a great job for us,” Bennett said.

“You miss your top players but when someone else comes out like he did and just carries on and was heavily involved in the game, it made Sean’s loss much easier than it could have been.

“He he’s a very fit guy and can play long minutes for us.”

There was a touch of controversy with Connor awarded a penalty try after use of his feet by Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Bennett said: “I know this much, you’re not allowed to go in with your knees, that’s the rule in Australia.

“The reason they brought that rule in was because it puts the player carrying the football in a dangerous position, that’s the way I saw it.”

New Zealand coach Michael Maguire refused to be drawn on the penalty try but insisted his team would be able to bounce back.

“I’ll have to have another look before make a comment, but it’s one of those moments you’ve got to be able to handle and get through,” he said.

Rugby League – World Club Series – St Helens v South Sydney Rabbitohs – Langtree Park
New Zealand coach Michael Maguire expects his side to come back in the next match (Martin Rickett/PA)

“The game was there to take for both teams,” he said. “I think they applied a bit more pressure than we did.

“We’ll get a fair bit out of that one, obviously from what we did a couple of weeks ago to where we are today, shows the difference in Test match football is all about pressure.

“At the end of the day it’s all part of game, it’s about how we respond and I’m really looking forward to that.”


Click here for more stories about Michael Maguire

Click here for more stories about England

Share this article now:

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Championship
La Liga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Championship
Belgian Pro League
Turkish Super Lig
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Segunda Division
Ligue 2
Eerste Divisie
Australian A-League
Welsh Premier League
NIFL Premiership
Chinese Super League
International Friendlies
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool34267177205785
2Manchester CityMan City33272486226483
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs332211064343067
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Leicester CityLeicester34145154645147
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33138124142-147
9Everton34137144644246
10Watford33137134748-146
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham34126164252-1042
12Bournemouth34125174961-1241
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Burnley34116174260-1839
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle34108163243-1138
16Southampton3399153954-1536
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3396183253-2133
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3455243276-4420
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3435261967-4814

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account