Rugby League: Clinical Kiwis crush England in final Baskerville Shield test

The Kiwis saved their best for last, with an emphatic 34-0 win over England in the final Baskerville Shield test at Elland Road on Monday (NZ time).

After losing the first two tests by narrow margins, New Zealand roared to life at Leeds, from start to finish, running in six unanswered tries to dash England's hopes of a series whitewash. 

Despite losing the third test, England take the three-test series 2-1 to retain the Baskerville Shield. 

Halfback Kodi Nikorima starred for the Kiwis in a man-of-match performance that saw him score a try and set up three. 

Before the match, both England and New Zealand players linked arms for a moments silence to remember the fallen on Armistice Day.

The Kiwis found their groove early, when Ken Maumalo scored the first of his two tries, when he collected a tip-on pass from captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to score in the corner. 

England had two tries ruled out by the video referee, while New Zealand were denied one, as the match turned into an arm-wrestle. 

But the Kiwis refused to buckle and eight minutes before half-time, Isaac Liu broke through under the posts, after running a great line off Nikorima's pass.

Halfback Kodi Nikorima.
Halfback Kodi Nikorima. Photo credit: Photosport

Nikorima then crossed for his try in the 39th minute and the Kiwis took an 18-0 lead into the halftime break. 

Four minutes after the break, Maumalo scored his second four-pointer, which gave the visitors the perfect start to the second half.

New Zealand were then reduced to 12 men, as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was sin-binned for a cheap shot on Josh Hodgson, but even with the one-man advantage, England couldn't crack the Kiwis line.

Once Waerea-Hargreaves returned, England went down a player, as Jermaine McGillvary was yellow-carded for a professional foul. 

That helped the Kiwis put the icing on the cake, as Jesse Bromwich and Joseph Tapine crashed over to cap a dominant display.

Five-eighth Shaun Johnson kicked four conversions from five attempts, before interchange forward Isaiah Papali'i landed one from right in front in his Kiwis debut. 

Kiwis captain  Watene-Zelezniak was pleased to end the series with a win. 

"Our fans and families deserve that," he told the BBC. "It's good to get one win over here. 

"We shot ourselves in the foot with errors in the first two games, but we held the ball and built pressure this week, and the boys did really well."

New Zealand 34 (Ken Maumalo 2, Isaac Liu, Kodi Nikorima, Jesse Bromwich& Joseph Tapine tries; Shaun Johnson four goals, Isaiah Papali'i goal) England 0