The UK Armed Forces Rugby League side have claimed third place at the Defence World Cup with a 36-18 win against the Kiwis at Ringrose Park.

The UK’s first win over New Zealand earlier in the week may have lifted some of the pressure for this second meeting, but this match, for the bronze medal, was the one that mattered.

With the lion’s share of possession in the first quarter, New Zealand scored first after nine minutes.

It took the men in white 24 minutes to cross the whitewash. Josh Scott powered over and when he did the momentum seemed to stay with them.

With five minutes of the first half left to play a Dave Hankinson try put the UK up 16-6 at the break.

The Kiwis came out firing and started strong again.

But UKAF bounced back through Ryan Matthews - the fly-half converting his own try.

A characteristic Si Wray try came next - the wing reaching a personal milestone by scoring in every round of the competition.  Then another score from the Kiwis showed the flair for which New Zealand are renowned and put them within eight points at 26-18 just ten minutes from time.

But there was no let-up in pressure - Adam Flintham scoring in the corner followed by Clarke bulldozing over for his second.

A Hankinson conversion finished things off - a convincing 36-18 win for the British Forces who had stepped up their game when it was needed.

The UKAF came to Australia to win but all things considered they'll be glad of third place. Fiji and Australia proved too strong for them.

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