Mixed Test series for St Helens stars

England's Tommy Makinson touches down but it was ruled out during the third Test at Elland Road
England's Tommy Makinson touches down but it was ruled out during the third Test at Elland Road
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Despite finishing the third highest RL try scorer in 2018, Mark Percival was left out in the cold for the three-match Test series against New Zealand which England won 2-1 to retain the Baskerville Shield.

The St Helens centre was included in the initial 19-man squad for Sunday’s 34-0 hammering at Elland Road but didn’t make the final cut and will be left frustrated at not being able to impress head coach Wayne Bennett in a positive fashion.

The same couldn’t be said of his St Helens team-mates, Jonny Lomax,Tommy Makinson, and Luke Thompson, who all emerged from the series with flying colours.

Makinson, in particular, caught the eye - nothing more spectacular than his hat-trick in a second Test triumph at Anfield. He was also a threat in the Leeds’ debacle - having a first half try ruled out following a debatable obstruction earlier in the move and then after the interval had another chalked off as his foot was in touch.

But the 27-year-old was philosophical after England failed to complete a whitewash over New Zealand, insisting: ‘’We were not at the races today.

“We knew the Kiwis would come at us but we didn’t really turn up.”

He added: “Having said that, New Zealand showed their class and demonstrated what a good side they are.”

At the same time, Makinson described the series as a ‘special one’ for the victorious England squad.

“We bonded both on and off the field and since Wayne Bennett was appointed head coach he has brought a great deal to us.”