15 Nov 2015

England hang on to sink Kiwis

10:23 am on 15 November 2015

England have beaten New Zealand 20-14 in the third and final rugby league Test at Wigan, to claim the series 2-1.

England captain Sean O'Loughlin scored a late try in the wet Wigan stadium, after forward Elliot Whitehead scored twice to the visitors' own three tries.

England v New Zealand, 1st Test - KC Stadium, Hull, England - England's Sean O'Loughlin celebrates a try with team-mates.
Copyright photo: Alex Whitehead / www.photosport.nz

England's Sean O'Loughlin celebrates a try with team-mates in the Hull Test Photo: Photosport

O'Loughlin powered over eight minutes from time to put England 20-6 ahead against the world's top-ranked side, but the Kiwis fought back in the closing minutes, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jordan Kahu grabbing tries to set up a tense finale.

However England hung on to seal their first series win over either World Cup winners Australia or No.1-ranked New Zealand since 2007.

Kiwis fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is comforted by an England player after losing the Test series decider at Wigan

Kiwis fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is comforted by an England player Photo: Photosport

England led 8-6 at half-time, winger Jason Nightingale crossing for the Kiwis after Whitehead had helped the hosts into an early 8-0 lead.

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney said afterwards he wished his team had played better throughout the whole game.

"More disappointed in that I didn't think we played our best game today," Kearney said.

"Today's contest was (a) bit like the whole tournament, it's been a real see-saw affair but I just didn't think we played our best game today."

England won the first Test 26-12 and New Zealand took the second 9-2 to level the series.

- Reuters

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.