New Zealand fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck says the arm wrestle didn’t go the Kiwis’ way on Saturday and England’s defence was just too strong.
England held off a comeback in the dieing stages at the DW Stadium to win the third Test and take the series 2-1.
Tuivasa-Sheck said New Zealand just didn’t convert its opportunities in attack at Wigan.
“I think this game was similar to the first and the second, the middles were just pounding each other and us backs were waiting for the opportunities,” he said.
“We got the opportunities but we didn’t ice them. England jumped on top of theirs and scored their three tries and we lost the game. We did have a lot of ball and opportunities to finish it but England were good on their defence and they played like we played in game two, they just defended, defended the whole game and stressed out the whole team. I think we started to get a little bit stressed and it just didn’t happen for us.”
Tuivasa-Sheck had the ball in his hands in the final seconds, trying to break the English line, but couldn’t find a way through and the ball was hacked into touch.
“So many things were going through my head at that moment,” he said.
“I tried to throw the long ball to see what the boys were doing, but England’s defence was up. I was just struck trying to drop maybe Nightingale back under to head back to the middle but it just didn’t work this time and we didn’t have the magic [Jonathan] Thurston in our team.”
Tuivasa-Sheck was involved in several crucial moments in the game, almost scoring in the second half after a break and then trying to hold Sean O’Loughlin from scoring a try under the sticks.
“I was hoping I was going to score,” the 22-year old said.
“Once I got past Zak the fullback I thought I’d be through but Widdop got me from behind. I wish I’d scored there, it would have been a different story. I thought I got O’Loughlin locked up there, but it’s all different viewing but with different angles on the TV. I thought I did enough to hold him up but they didn’t see it that way.”
Despite losing the series, Tuivasa-Sheck said he has enjoyed the Kiwis’ tour to England.
“I’ve loved it,” he said.
“Coming over, travelling around with a good bunch of boys here and experiencing a different side of life here.”