England 20-12 New Zealand

England will meet Australia in the Four Nations final after they shocked New Zealand to knock the World Champions out in Huddersfield.

England carried on from where they left off the week before in the second half against the Australians, when they scored 16 unanswered points, despite trailing 26-0 at the break.

There was no slow start this week however as England‘s heavyweight pack tore into the Kiwis’, allowing the young pair Kyle Eastmond and Sam Tomkins to dictate matters and leave England with an 18-6 lead at half-time.

New Zealand came back strongly after the break with Junior Sau scoring just two minutes in but the English defence stood their ground to bravely book their place in the final.

With Man-of-the-match Kevin Sinfield switching to hooker to accomodate Sam Burgess in the starting line up, Tony Smith’s gamble paid off after 10 minutes when the pair teamed up to send Kyle Eastmond scampering over under the posts for the first try.

England were looking good but it was the Kiwis who grabbed the next points with their first real attack.

The ball was spread wide to Kieron Foran and he finished well in the corner after Peter Fox had rushed out of the line looking for an intercept.

England had already been causing havoc with high kicks in the greasy conditions and a great cross-field kick from Sam Tomkins was just wide enough to beat Goodwin and allow Peter Fox to attone for his earlier error by touching the bouncing ball down for the first of his two tries.

The second came minutes later and seconds before half-time when the winger cut inside to finish well as England adventured to their left from the scrum base.

It was a crucial score with Sinfield adding all the conversions to leave England 18-6 up at the break but New Zealand cut the defecit soon after the restart.

Strong running and a series of offloads culminated in Matulino bringing the World Champions back within six points.

But gutsy defence held New Zealand at arm’s length until 10 minutes from time when Kevin Sinfield landed a penalty to give England a little breathing space and they held on to secure a historic win.


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