Rugby League: Kiwis fall to England in first Baskerville Shield test

England have drawn first blood their test series against the New Zealand Kiwis, with a late try to centre Oliver Gildart sealing an 18-16 victory on Sunday (NZ time).

On test debut for England, Gildart raced almost 50m at KC Stadium before stepping past Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to score the match-winning try, 12 minutes from time.                 

New Zealand attacked the England line with minutes remaining, but the hosts hung on to claim the two-point win.

It was a tough result for New Zealand, who will rue their discipline and poor execution late in the contest, having led several occasions earlier in the contest.

England were the first to score though when Sam Tomkins - making his first appearance for the national side since 2014 - touched down under the posts.

It didn't take long for New Zealand to respond when Shaun Johnson and Kodi Nikorima combined to put Esan Marsters into a gap to score the Kiwis' first try of the match.

The Kiwis then hit the lead when Watene-Zelezniak ran perfectly onto a Kodi Nikorima pass from a scum to score their second.

England responded just before halftime when Jake Connor awarded a penalty try as Watene-Zelezniak slid in with the knees, making contact with his opponents head.

The penalty try levelled the game at 12-12 at halftime.

Johnson twice kicked the Kiwis back ahead after the break, with Connor responding with a penalty goal of his own on 55 minutes.

It looked like the two penalty goals were going to be enough to see New Zealand home, but Gildart's try from nothing changed the final outcome of the match.

The win means England lead 1-0 in the best-of-three series as they look to retain the Baskerville Shield.

The second test is on Monday, November 5 at Anfield in Liverpool, with the final test to be played on Monday November 12 in Leeds.