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The Australian Kangaroos have claimed the first victory in the 2013 World Cup as they defeated England 28-20 at the Millennium Stadium. England had the jump on Australia early but failed to match it for the 80 minutes.
Ryan Hall opened the scoring as England created a left side overlap play through the Australian defence. Kevin Sinfield had a mixed night with the boot, his first attempt missed, England 4-0 after 9 minutes.
Hudderfield's Leroy Cudjoe claimed the second English try thanks to a pin-point, chip kick from Kevin Sinfield. Sinfield this time successful with the conversion attempt, England 10-0 after 25 minutes.
The possession swung in favour of Australia inside the final minutes of the first half which saw the Kangaroos post two tries. Greg Bird first crossed the line off a short pass from Man of the Match, Johnathan Thurston. Minutes later, Billy Slater broke free of a scrum to dart down field untouched to give Australia a 12-10 lead at half time.
Australia continue to build in the second half as Brett Morris managed to fight his way through two English defenders to extend the Kangaroos lead to 22-10 after 45 minutes.
George Burgess was awarded his four-pointer by the video referee after previously being denied for the same play. He reached over the goal line and plant the Steeden down on the back of a strong run. After 51 minutes, England closed the gap to 22-16.
The Kangaroos secured victory as Darius Boyd finished off a solid left side play as he dived in the corner off a brilliant short pass from Billy Slater. Australia extended their lead to 28-16 inside the final 10 minutes.
England had the final say in the contest as Josh Charnley jumped a loose ball to beat Billy Slater as he raced away untouched down the sideline. The game all said and down as England went down 28-20 at the hands of the Australian Kangaroos.
There is concern for England's Sam Burgess who was placed on report for a swinging arm high tackle on Sam Thaiday in the 63rd minute. Sam Thaiday did leave the field as a result of the contact, however Burgess was not sent off.
Australia 28 England Lions 20
Venue: Millenium Stadium
Halftime Score: Australia 18-10
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Johnathan Thurston
2 points - Paul Gallen
1 point - Billy Slater
Tries: Johnathan Thurston, Greg Bird, Billy Slater, Brett Morris, Darius Boyd
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)