GRAND FINAL DAY LOCKED IN | Three big fixtures next Sunday at Sydney's ANZ Stadium! Burleigh and Ill...
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Australia has run out 30 point winners at Leeds this morning defeating England 46-16, turning in a blisteriing second half performance to claim the 2009 Four Nations trophy.
In what was set to always be a fiery encounter, both teams spent little time getting acquainted with each other, both sides fighting tooth and nail throughout the opening stages. After Australia were denied down one end of the field by video referee Phil Bentham, England found themselves in the lead after Rabbitohs-bound Sam Burgess stepped two Australian defenders to cross after a barnstorming 40m run.
It was a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Australians after Cameron Smith restarted the game by kicking out on the full, but after Burgess looked to have broken through again, it was Johnathan Thurston who had the last laugh - combining with Greg Inglis to race 70m down field before sending Brett Morris over with a brilliant long cut out pass to level the scores.
From there both sides exchanged the lead before Australia went in at half time leading 14-10 after a beautiful try to Inglis in the corner.
However it didn't take the English long to bounce back as Burgess claimed try number two after a smart shift of play by young five eighth Sam Tomkins lead to the try.
Unfortunately for England the lead was short lived as Thurston earnt his side a penalty after making half a break up the middle of the field before Billy Slater dived over from dummy half for a surprisingly soft try.
In the end it all became one way traffic as Australia piled on 24 more unanswered points to claim the inaugural Four Nations trophy, including a freakish effort from Slater to tap it back over the dead ball line to Cameron Smith, in a try that had all the hallmarks of the Gasnier-Inglis try in the 2008 Centenary Test.
Australia 46 def England 16
Four Nations Final - Sunday November 15th, 2009 06:30am Venue: Elland Road, Leeds, England Referee: Leon Williamson (NZL)
Sideline Officials: Clint Sharrad (ENG) & Alan Shortall (AUS)
Video Referee: Phil Bentham (ENG) Crowd: 31,042 Halftime: England 10 Australia 14
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary The International scene has been the focus of rugby league over the last month - and you can share your views on it on our forums - just click here. After tonight's game all eyes look forward to the big seasons ahead in 2010, and plenty of discussion is already underway in the NRL forum - click here.
ENGLAND: 1. Shaun Briscoe 2. Peter Fox 3. Chris Bridge 4. Michael Shenton 5. Ryan Hall 6. Sam Tomkins 7. Kyle Eastmond 8. Adrian Morley 9. Kevin Sinfield 10. James Graham 11. Jamie Peacock 12. Gareth Ellis 13. Sam Burgess Interchange: 14. Eorl Crabtree 15. Jon Wilkin 16. Ben Westwood 17. James Roby AUSTRALIA: 1. Billy Slater 2. Brett Morris 3. Greg Inglis 4. Justin Hodges 5. Jarryd Hayne 6. Darren Lockyer (Captain) 7. Johnathan Thurston 8. Ben Hannant 9. Cameron Smith 10. Petero Civoniceva 11. Luke Lewis 12. Paul Gallen 13. Nathan Hindmarsh Interchange: 14. Kurt Gidley 15. Brett White 16. Anthony Watmough 17. Sam Thaiday Reserves: 18. David Shillington 19. Michael Jennings
Welcome fellow Rugby League fans to another League Unlimited score update as Australia goes head to head with England in the first ever Four Nations final.
Both sides have had interesting campaigns through out the tournament. Australia were absolutely floored when they met a fired up Kiwi's outfit in the first round of the competition. Thankfully they were saved by the class of Greg Inglis who's form continued to impress as he played a pivotal role in Australia's dominant victory over England in the second round of the competition.
Both sides required victories in the final round of the tournament to make it into the final. Australia were the first to qualify after a dominant display against France to the tune of 42-4.
While England shocked the world with a brilliant 20-12 win over the World Cup champions New Zealand.
Australia go in as overwhelming favourites but if last week was anything to go by, anything can happen today.
Final game of the season, bring it on boys!
Both sides are walking onto Elland Road. Darren Lockyer is appearing in his 50th appearance, he also has the oppurtunity to break the all-time try scoring record for an Australian Kangaroo.
Here comes the national anthems. What's with the pommy fans booing the Australian anthem?
England kick us off
2 min: Poms receive the first penalty of the game and go straight on the attack. Eastmond nearly busts through the middle.
3 min: England forces a goal line drop out with a sneaky grubber by Sinfield.
5 min: A poor end to the set see's Australia come up with the ball 5m out from the line.
5 min: Bridge is penalised for holding Smith down. Australia on the attack.
6 min: Slater looks to have lost the ball but Australia receives the penalty for a strip. England look to of been hard done by here.
7 min: Michael Shenton smashes Lockyer forcing him to lose the ball backwards. Lewis regathers it but knocks on relieving England of any pressure.
8 min: Australia earns another set of six after Graham fails to regather the ball.
VIDEO REF DECISION: Brett Morris looks to of scored in the corner. He may of lost control...but lets see.
NO TRY: Bentham believes Morris knocked on. England with the ball.
10 min: TRY England Burgess steps both Petero and Slater to race 40m untouched to score the first try of the final. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful. England 6-0
11 min: Cameron Smith has kicked out on the full. England back on the attack.
12 min: Burgess breaks through again! But an intercept by Thurston saves the day! Massive counter attack by Inglis but he's taken down 30m out! What a piece of play!
13 min: TRY Australia Thurston takes the intercept and eventually sets up the try. Long cut out pass to Hodges who taps it onto Morris who scores in the corner. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. 6 all
16 min: Lockyer puts up an awful bomb that fails to make any ground but England loses the ball! Australia back on the attack.
17 min: Civoniceiva is penalised after he fails to play the ball when called to do so. Very controversial call and a penalty puts England back on attack.
19 min: TRY England Eastmond puts in a pin-point crossfield kick and it ends up in the hands of Fox! Deja Vu, England in again. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield unsuccessful. England 10-6
21 min: Terrible pass from Sinfield ends up in the hands of Burgess who is tackled on his own 40. Australia on the attack.
22 min: Morris knocks on and blows an oppurtunity for Australia.
24 min: Eastmond puts up a bomb that Australia allows to bounce. Luckily for the Australians, the Poms weren't expecting the regather and they end up with the ball.
25 min: TRY Australia Jarryd Hayne makes a break up the middle of the field from an inside ball from Thurston and places a kick to Greg Inglis in the corner who beats the ball from going over the dead ball line. 15th try in 15 appearances by the big man Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. Australia 12-10
30 min: PENALTY GOAL Australia An odd option here. Thurston taken out after placing a kick up the centre of the field and Lockyer decides to take the two on offer.
34 min: Thaiday knocks on 30m out from England's line on tackle four.
35 min: Watmough gives away a penalty...make that two. Referee calls Watmough out and England deep on the attack here.
37 min: Australia are lucky to hang on as England stretch them all over the park. Brilliant first half of football so far.
39 min: Inglis makes a break down the left hand side before throwing a desperate offload to Hayne who fails to collect it.
40 min: Tomkins puts in a chip kick to Eastmond who collects it but is tackled just as the half time hooter sounds.
Fantastic first half of football from both sides. England got off to a fantastic start and exposed the Kangaroo's defence straight up the middle before the Kangaroo's rallied and some individual brilliance by the likes of Thurston and Inglis has helped Australia take the lead.
Still anybody's game!
40 min: Australia gets us underway
41 min: Lockyer makes a break up the middle but is met in a big tackle by Briscoe.
42 min: A Lockyer kick goes over the dead ball line on the full. Poor end to the set.
43 min: England make inroads into Australia's defence but Fox loses the ball. England come up with a very controversial strip.
44 min: Tomkins nearly goes over but is held up...for a little too long. Penalty England.
45 min: England spread the Australian defence once again on the line but a Fox grubber ends up going dead. Australia 20m restart.
46 min: Gidley has lost it on the halfway line. England with another chance here.
48 min: Inglis loses a cross field kick backwards in his own in-goal but Hayne is there to clean up and make it back into the field of play.
49 min: TRY England He's done it again! Rabbitohs fans must be counting their lucky days. Tomkins flicks the ball back on the inside to Ellis who finds a flying Burgess who crashes over. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful. England 16-14
52 min: Sinfield's kick goes over the dead ball line.
52 min: Thurston earns the Aussies a penalty on the halfway line. Australia deep on the attack now.
54 min: TRY Australia The crowd has gone silent as Slater has scored from dummy half after Gidley went close the ruck before. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful. Australia 18-16
56 min: Thurston goes for a sneaky short kick but it ricochets off an England leg and he knocks on while trying to regather. England with the ball on the halfway line.
57 min: Tomkins has knocked on while playing the ball but it could've easily gone the other way.
58 min: TRY Australia Thurston with it 30m kicks it into the right hand corner and Brett Morris races to the ball to score. Australia are starting to run away with this. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful. Australia 22-16
61 min: Hannant has lost the ball just inside his own half. Poms with a chance to square things up.
62 min: Sinfield blows it for England with a silly knock on off a Peacock offload. Australia with the ball 20m out from their own line.
63 min: Australia with six again inside the Poms half. Slater places a kick on the second tackle and Fox kicks it over the sideline 10m out from Englands line.
65 min: England grab the ball after a poor attempt at grubber by Thurston.
67 min: VIDEO REFEREE TIME for Australia!
67 min: TRY Australia Lockyer puts in a mid-field kick 10m out and Slater runs onto it. Bats it to himself and then bats it back to Cameron Smith who touches down. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. Australia 28-16
69 min: TRY Australia Slater is in again! Smith runs it from dummy half and finds an offload to Lockyer who throws a pass back on the inside to Slater to score. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. Australia 34-16
73 min: TRY Australia Jarryd! Finally Hayne scores his first try in the Four Nations after Lockyer places a grubber to the left hand corner. Good on ya mate. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. Australia 40-16
75 min: Short kick off ends up in the hands of Burgess.
76 min: Eastmond puts in a kick to Fox but the ball ends up beating him over the sideline.
77 min: TRY Australia Kurt Gidley makes a break down the right before placing a kick back on the inside to Slater who's there to claim his hat-trick. Brilliant effort by both players. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. Australia 46-16
78 min: England claim the second short kick off in a row.
79 min: Slater takes a brilliant catch just outside his try line. Can Australia pile on the 50? Probably not. Lockyer just knocked on trying to claim a tricky Thurston kick.