Life has been a bowl of cherries for Matty Lees in 2018 - the St Helens forward crowning a memorable year by being named man of the match in England Knights stunning 16-12 victory over a near full strength Papua New Guinea side at Lae on Saturday.
The former Rochdale Mayfield amateur and one of the nominees for the Young Player of the Year accolade at the recent Steve Prescott Man of
Steel Awards Night made an outstanding contribution, especially late on as the hosts stormed forward in a bid to wipe out a four point deficit.
Lees, who made 19 first team appearances for Saints last season and was making his international debut, described it as a 'fantastic experience'.
He said: ''All the lads stood together and came away with a great win.
''It wasn't the best of games. It was scrappy but we got the right result.''
Coach Paul Anderson - a member of Saints' Challenge Cup and Super League double winning side in 2006, said: ''Matty may have given a couple of penalties away but I don’t mind that. He did that in the right way, because he’s got a level of intimidation about him.
“He’s only 20 and it's a great achievement to earn the man of the match tag against a strong side.''
The Knights will face the Kumuls again on Saturday at Port Moresby where they are guaranteed a hot and hostile reception.