Gutted Jermaine McGillvary has admitted he would gladly have swapped his first senior England try for a win.
The Giants star struck early in the second half to reduce New Zealand’s lead to 12-10 in a cracking Four Nations clash in front of a 24,070 John Smith’s Stadium crowd.
But his well-taken score was ultimately to prove in vain as Shaun Johnson grabbed a 65th-minute drop goal to give the Kiwis a narrow 17-16 victory and put them in pole position to face Australia in the final at Anfield on November 20.
It was a defeat that hit McGillvary hard, with the in-form winger revealing his try on ‘home’ soil came as little consolation.
WATCH: Our images from England's defeat to New Zealand in Huddersfield
“Scoring my first senior England try at my home ground and in my home town was a proud moment,” said McGillvary, who scored his first try for his country in last week’s 40-6 warm-up win in France.
“But I’d have gladly swapped that try for a win.
“Winning was all that mattered to us, and the fact we didn’t manage that means we’re all bitterly disappointed. Unfortunately, we played dumb at times and paid the ultimate price for that.
WATCH: New Zealand perform the Haka ahead of the England match
“New Zealand are a great team, and you know that if you make errors against them they’re going to hurt, which is exactly what they did.
“Personally, I’d obviously have loved to have been part of an England victory in Huddersfield, particularly as I had so many family and friends in the crowd. In fact, it was that big an occasion for the family that even my nana came along!
“We know we now have to beat Scotland next week and then Australia to stand a chance of reaching the Four Nations final, which we know we can. We’ve only been together as a full squad for a couple of wees, so we know we’ll get a lot better as the tournament progresses.”