Australia to meet Kiwis in final

England‘s hopes of a place in the Four Nations final were ended by a comprehensive 34-14 defeat by Australia in Melbourne.

Despite Sam Burgess‘ try giving them an early 8-6 lead, England had no answer to the Aussies in the first half, with tries from Luke Lewis (2), Billy Slater, Brent Tate and Willie Tonga putting them 26-8 in front at half time.

Luke Robinson gave England the perfect start to the second half, but any hopes of a comeback were put to bed by Lote Tuqiri’s try, and Cameron Smith rubbed salt in the wounds with a penalty.

Boss Steve McNamara said: “We came here with the sole intention of winning this competition, but it’s also about making ourselves stronger for the future.

“This team has an average age of 24, the captain (James Graham) is only 25, the other starting frontrower (Sam Burgess) is only 21 and the outside backs probably only have 10 caps between them.

“I certainly think we’ve made some strides forward in this tournament.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand totally outclassed Papua New Guinea on Saturday, running in 14 tries to win 76-12. Junior Sa’u and Sam Perrett both scored hat-tricks, as the Kiwi’s followed up their win over England last week with a similarly commanding performance.

Sheffield Eagles centre Menzie Yere and Glen Nami crossed for consolation tries for the Kumuls after the break.

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