The Kiwis saved their best for last as they upset England's hopes of a series whitewash with an impressive 34-0 win in the third test at Leeds this morning.

After patchy performances in the first two test defeats the Kiwis finally clicked with their dominant display at Elland Road, embarrassing England and restoring some pride in the black and white jersey.

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Desperate goal line defence contained England's attack and for the first time in the series the Kiwis dominated England's forwards to control the ruck while quicker play-the-balls put their playmakers on the front foot.


Kiwis coach Michael Maguire would have been thrilled as his side nailed almost every scoring chance with first-half tries to left wing Ken Maumalo, second rower Isaac Liu and outstanding halfback Kodi Nikorima helping them carve out a dominant 18-0 halftime lead at Elland Road.

Maumalo's second four-pointer gave the visitors the perfect start to the second half and England were unable to reply before Kiwis front rower Jesse Bromwich and interchange forward Joseph Tapine both scored late tries.

Five-eighth Shaun Johnson kicked four conversions from five attempts before interchange forward Isaiah Papali'i banged over the last goal after coming off the bench to make his test debut.

"Our families, country and fans deserve that so it's good to get at least one win over here," Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak said post-match.

"We shot ourselves in the foot in the last two games with errors and not being able to build pressure, and that's a testament to, if you can hold the ball and build pressure, the score looks after itself.

"We've had three games over here and they've been good learning experiences. We were able to lift from the first two games and we were a lot better tonight but we can't get ahead of ourselves. We've still got to keep building and see what happens next year."

Jamayne Isaako of New Zealand dives for the corner as Tommy Makinson of England attempts a tackle. Photo / Getty
Jamayne Isaako of New Zealand dives for the corner as Tommy Makinson of England attempts a tackle. Photo / Getty

The Kiwis dominated the early physical exchanges and a short side run from Johnson allowed them to start their third set inside England's half, before a late offload from prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves created space for Maumalo to score after five minutes.

The Kiwis fell into the trap of shifting the ball wide in their own half and two mistakes early in sets gave England attacking chances but the hosts lacked the polish to capitalise.

The men in white looked to have found some joy when Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson dived over in the right corner but the try was denied when replays confirmed a decoy runner had obstructed Kiwis forward Kevin Proctor.

Proctor was then denied a try himself at the end of the first quarter, when Kiwis right wing Jamayne Isaako put a foot on the sideline as he passed back inside to the back rower.

England's James Graham and New Zealand's Jared Waerea-Hargreaves square up during the Kiwis' win. Photo / Getty
England's James Graham and New Zealand's Jared Waerea-Hargreaves square up during the Kiwis' win. Photo / Getty

Consecutive penalties presented England with more opportunities but strong tackling kept them scoreless, and two errors from right wing Jermaine McGillvary spoiled promising raids down on New Zealand's line.

A relieving penalty helped the Kiwis wrestle back the momentum before Nikorima sent Liu bursting through to score beside the posts with Johnson's second goal extending their lead to 12-0 six minutes before halftime.

The Kiwis continued to lift their intensity and repeatedly forced England to work it out of their left corner before Nikorima cut through the middle and exchanged passes with Johnson to score their third to go to the sheds up 18-0.

A red-hot start to the second half saw the Kiwis power downfield and a cross-field kick from Nikorima allowed Maumalo to climb above McGillvary to score his second and all but kill off any hopes of an England comeback.

Three penalties in a row cost the Kiwis when Waerea-Hargreaves was marched for a flop on England hooker Josh Hodgson, but the visitors lifted once more and Makinson blew a golden chance on the next set when he stepped on the sideline as he headed for the corner.

The Kiwis forwards continued to outshine their opposites with Bromwich and Tapine both breezing through some weak defence to score to cap a remarkable all-round performance.

Kiwis 34 (Ken Maumalo 2, Isaac Liu, Kodi Nikorima, Jesse Bromwich, Joseph Tapine tries, Shaun Johnson 4/5, Isaiah Papali'i cons)
England 0