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England have claimed the second spot in the Four Nation's final after defeating World Champion's New Zealand 20-12 at Galpharm Stadium.
The result came off the back of a dominant first half display which featured brutal defence by Gareth Ellis and Sam Burgess as well as a well executed game plan that put colossal pressure on the New Zealand back three. This pressure ultimately resulted in points as the English captilised on their field position to go in at halftime 18-6 leaders.
New Zealand tried their best to spark a comeback through the energetic Rabbitoh in Isaac Luke who tore through the English defensive line from dummy half. However a dissapointing showing by Nathan Fien and Benji Marshall negated all of Isaac's work and ultimately cost New Zealand a place in the Four Nation's final.
To their credit, England defended well in the second half under a massive amount of pressure and they truly deserve their place in the final.
England 20 def New Zealand 12
Four Nations Round 3 - Sunday November 8th, 2009 05:00am Venue: Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield, England Referee: Thierry Alibert (FRA)
Sideline Officials: Jose Pereira (FRA) & Alan Shortall (AUS)
Video Referee: Phil Bentham (ENG) Crowd: 0 Halftime: England 18 New Zealand 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Gareth Ellis (England) 2 Points: Kyle Eastmond (England) 1 Point: Isaac Luke (New Zealand)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary You can discuss the Four Nations tournament as well as the other International Rugby League being played right now - including the Pacific Cup and European Cups - simply 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. James Roby 10. James Graham 11. Jamie Peacock (c) 12. Gareth Ellis 13. Kevin Sinfield Interchange: 14. Sam Burgess 15. Eorl Crabtree 16. Ben Westwood 17. Jon Wilkin NEW ZEALAND: 1. Lance Hohaia 2. Sam Perrett 2. Kieran Foran 4. Junior Sau 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. Benji Marshall (c) 7. Nathan Fien 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 9. Thomas Leuluai 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Iosia Soliola 12. Frank Pritchard 13. Adam Blair Interchange: 14. Issac Luke 15. Jeff Lima 16. Ben Matulino 17. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Reserves: 18. Jason Nightingale 19. Eddy Pettybourne
Second match of the evening/morning (depending where you are in the world) of the Four Nations and it's sudden death as the World Champion's New Zealand play England at Galpharm Stadium at Huddersfield.
It should be a brilliant match so feel free to join us here on League Unlimited as we pay witness to discover who will play Australia in the final.
Last Minute Changes: Sinfield has moved to hooker with Burgess coming into the starting side as lock and Roby has slid onto the bench.
Kiwi's as program.
National Anthemn time, everybody get patriotic.
Haka time, would you want to mess with Blair right now?
England kicks us off!
1 min: Junior Sau looks to have lost the ball but Alibert awards New Zealand a penalty. New Zealand begin their set in England's half.
4 min: New Zealand dominating the early stages here but a poor kick by Nathan Fien relieves England of any pressure.
6 min: A brilliant kick by Eastmond has resulted with England coming up with the ball 10m out from the Kiwi line after Shaun Briscoe raked the ball from Perrett 1-1.
7 min: Tomkins grubbers for himself on the last but the Kiwi's come up with it.
9 min: TRY England England draw first blood with a magnificent try. Sinfield runs it from dummy half and throws a brilliant pass to Burgess who shrugs off a tackle and throws it back to the inside to Eastmond who crashes over infront of the sticks. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful. England 6-0
12 min: Tomkins hoils another bomb into the air which Hohaia allows to bounce straight into the arm of the English. Fortunately for the Kiwi's the referee finds a knock on. Now a penalty to New Zealand see's them on the attack.
13 min: A 50/50 decision goes the way of New Zealand as Pritchard loses the ball after the referee calls held. Penalty New Zealand for a strip.
14 min: TRY New Zealand A brilliant pass by Hohaia finds space on the left hand side, Foran takes the pass and sends his winger Goodwin over. Conversion attempt by Bryson Goodwin unsuccessful. England 6-4
19 min: Hohaia loses another ball but Ailbert calls a penalty to New Zealand for offside
21 min: New Zealand earn another penalty 10m out from the English line. They're starting to dangerous here the Kiwi's.
22 min: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves knocks on inside England's 10m line. The English survive to see another day.
25 min: Sinfield hoists a cross field kick for Fox who's collected without the ball by Goodwin. Alibert calls a scrum for a knock on against England. Odd decision.
26 min: Briscoe has compounded the error by fiddling with the ball in his own in goal before finally swatting it over the dead ball line. New Zealand on attack.
27 min: Marshall throws a loose offload to Pritchard who falls over and Wilkin comes up the ball for England to avoid a dangerous situation. Graham has now come up with a knock on. Kiwi's with another oppurtunity!
29 min: This match is getting fiery as Marshall is throwing rights. New Zealand come up with a penalty for an unrelated matter.
29 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand
31 min: Another penalty to New Zealand. I like Crabtree but he's something of a penalty magnet. It must be the do.
31 min: Marshall looks to set his left hand side up before throwing a wayward pass which leads to a knock on by Goodwin. England scrum 20m out from their own line
32 min: Crabtree earns his side a penalty! It goes both ways.
33 min: England earn themselves another penalty 10m out from the New Zealand line. Referee calls Benji over for a chat.
34 min: TRY England A wayward pass from dummy half by Michael Shenton finds it's way to Sam Tomkins who puts in a pinpoint kick to Fox who scores in the corner. Poor Bryson did everything he could but he was far too in-field. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful. England 12-6
37 min: Perrett spills another bomb, England deep in attack now.
37 min: Tomkins held up after taking an offload by Ellis close to the line.
38 min: Matulino knocks on an England chip kick. England with another oppurtunity. The crowd is going nuts and so they should!
39 min: TRY England Peter Fox scores a double! 6 tries from 5 appearances! England must be loving him right now. England score from the scrum, Eastmond shifts the ball and finds space for Bridge on the outside who sends Fox over in the corner. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful. England 18-6
HALF-TIME: England finish the half with the ball.
Good half of football from England who so far have dominated in all facets of the game. Burgess, Ellis and Eastmond are just ripping them apart and their right hand side is exploiting the inexperience of debutant Kieran Foran.
It certainly wasn't the best half of footy from the Kiwi's who have been soft up the middle of the ruck. They've certainly had their chances and have threatened the English line but a poor kicking game has murdered any chance of supremecy. Not to mention, their inability to defuse bombs which has absolutely gifted England thus far.
Still anybody's game at half time despite England's 12 point lead. Will the world champion's surrender? We'll find out in just a moment
Second Half has commenced as Kiwi's kick us off
42 min: TRY New Zealand Kiwi's begin the second half the best way possible with a try to Ben Matulino. Isaac Luke tears out of dummy half at a million miles an hour before turning a pass to Hohaia who throws it wide to Matulino who finds Sau who finds Matulino on the outside who races over to score. Conversion attempt by Bryson Goodwin successful. England 18-12
44 min: Perrett knocks on from the kick off. England with an oppurtunity to hit back.
45 min: A cross field kick ends with the Poms getting a touch but the ball rolls over the dead ball line. A forward pass by Blair puts the pressure back on the Kiwi's.
47 min: A poor grubber kick is defused by New Zealand. Pressure off the World Champs.
49 min: A cross kick by Sinfield is easily defused by Marshall in the in goal. Kiwi ball 20m out from their own line.
51 min: Fien hoists a bomb in the air but it fails to go 3m. Morley ends up with the ball 40m from his own line. England on attack.
52 min: Tomkin makes a half break which England uses to their advantage as they go left to Shenton who throws a risky ball to Hall who can't grab it and it ends up in the sideline.
53 min: The match continues to get fiery as the boys engage in a pushing fight. Kiwi's end up with the penalty.
54 min: Kiwi's with a chance but a forward pass by Isaac Luke cruels any chance.
56 min: A forward pass by Tomkins gifts New Zealand with possesion on the halfway line.
58 min: Marshall hoists a huge cross field kick to the wing of Goodwin but the ball is defused by Fox in goal. 20m restart England.
59 min: I don't remember an English set of six ending without a bomb. Fortunately for New Zealand their back three are up for it this half.
61 min: Blair earns his side a weak penalty. Kiwi's on the attack.
63 min: Fien puts in a cross field kick to Perrett and Marshall ends up with it on the bounce. He gets on the outside of the English defence but he slips and eventually succumbs to the sideline. Foran has been replaced.
64 min: Sinfield has knocked on in his own half. Kiwi's back on attack.
65 min: Ailbert calls a knock on against Iosia Soliola. England survive another Kiwi onslaught.
67 min: A Kiwi kick brushes the goal posts forcing Shaun Briscoe to take the ball dead. Kiwi's with another shot at the English line.
68 min: A lucky deflection by Ryan Hall ends up in the hands of Tomkins and relieves England of defending another set on their line. The ball is now down the Kiwi's end.
70 min: Sinfield goes for the field goal but Blair denies him with another charge down. Soliola tries to pick up the loose ball but knocks on. Big chance here England. Can they be Australia's opponents next Saturday?
71 min: PENALTY GOAL England
72 min: Kiwi's come up with the ball from the kick off. Big chance here.
73 min: Marshall slides a kick through the English line but it ends up being too strong and goes over the dead ball line. England with a 20m restart.
75 min: A big defensive set of six denies England of making much ground but a big kick finds Hohaia 20m out. Kiwi start their set 30m out from their own line.
76 min: Tomkins takes a shallow Marshall chip. England with a penalty.
77 min: Ellis has been taken into touch 10m out from the Kiwi's line by Soliola.
78 min: Moi Moi looks to have lost the ball. But New Zealand is awarded a penalty. Time is running out.
79 min: A grubber kick by Marshall is shown the dead ball line by Briscoe. Could the World Champs become World Chumps?
79 min: Thomas Leuluai knocks on. England are into the final!
80 min: Massive brawl! Let's see what's happened. Fui comes in with a swinging high and collects Westwood high. Boys being boys. England with a penalty.