Ben­nett: Eng­land are a pretty spe­cial team

Hull Daily Mail - - SPORT -

Eng­land coach Wayne Ben­nett says the na­tion should be proud of their team af­ter a gritty 18-16 win over New Zealand. The hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-game se­ries with the vic­tory at the KCOM Sta­dium and af­ter the match, with Ben­nett open­ing up on a range of top­ics.

Eng­land were miss­ing the likes of Gareth Wid­dop, Kal­lum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Luke Gale and Sam Burgess and lost Sean O’loughlin in the first half to calf in­jury, with Ben­nett de­lighted by depth on dis­play.

Ben­nett had praise for his team and game-win­ner Oliver Gil­dart, with the debu­tant’s sec­ond-half try seal­ing the win.

The Eng­land boss was also happy with the dis­play of Hull FC star Jake Con­nor as he bagged a ten-point haul which in­cluded a cru­cial first-half try be­fore the break.

Con­nor’s try went down as a penalty try due to Dallin Watene-zelez­niak go­ing in with the knees.

It was the cor­rect call and Ben­nett was happy with the de­ci­sion, though he did say that he be­lieved the ref­er­ee­ing from Robert Hicks over­all was a mixed bag.

A TEAM TO BE PROUD OF

“It was a won­der­ful Test match. We are play­ing real Test foot­ball and the boys are giv­ing ev­ery­thing they have got.

“I hope you all re­alise you have a pretty spe­cial foot­ball team. The English should be re­ally proud of them. They are a great group of guys and they work re­ally hard.

“It was a great sec­ond half and a great game. We couldn’t have given any more. We didn’t have a bad player. Ev­ery­one turned up to play for Eng­land.

“There are about ten play­ers out that played in last year’s World Cup due to in­jury rea­sons mainly. We are build­ing some depth which is im­por­tant and we have a lot of men with de­sire.” “He pro­vided a great cen­tre’s try. He went 50 me­tres and beat two or three play­ers. It was great to watch.

“He’s 21 years of age and I thought let’s just grab him now. It wasn’t a risk, it was an ob­ser­va­tion.” “Luke Thompson came on and did a great job for us. You miss your top play­ers but it’s good when some­one comes on like him and car­ries on. He’s a very fit guy and could play long min­utes for us.

“It made Sean’s loss a lot less than it could have been.

“It was a calf mus­cle in­jury which he has had a his­tory of. It was noth­ing more se­ri­ous than that.” “I know this much that you are not al­lowed to go in with your knees. I was happy with that call.

“It was tough ref­er­ee­ing out there. He could have pe­nalised a lot more than he did but he was try­ing to make a game of foot­ball out of it.

“Both teams were keen to play well and put a lot into it. Ref­er­ee­ing is never easy. We got some good calls and a few rub­bish ones.” “There wasn’t a bad player out there for us. He did a great job and came up with a good try. Jake has got a bit of x-fac­tor about him and it wasn’t an easy run to the try line.

“He had a de­ci­sion to make and he got to the try-line. He did a good job on Joseph Manu and he’s a tal­ented player.”

Oliver Gil­dart scores the win­ning try and, in­set, Wayne Ben­nett

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