Australia won 6-0 against a proud England side in a sensational Rugby League World Cup Final to retain the Cup in Brisbane on Saturday.
Australia were 6-0 up at the break thanks to a try from Boyd Cordner.
Neither side managed to score in a nail-biting second half encounter, with Cordner’s try being the difference. Australia completed a back-to-back World Cup final victory after beating New Zealand in 2013 and England 6-0 this time around in Brisbane.
Mal Meninga named an unchanged Australia team to the one that beat Fiji in the semi-finals last weekend. Cameron Smith captained the side.
Wayne Bennett was forced to make two changes to his side that defeated Tonga last time out. Chris Heighington and Jonny Lomax came in for injured duo Sean O’Loughlin and Jonny Lomax.
It was a fiery start to the game, with James Graham taking a blow to the eye in the first set while there was a little melee between Josh McGuire and John Bateman early on.
Australia opened the scoring after England were forced to defend four sets on the bounce. Boyd Cordner ran a good line to get on the end of a short pass from Michael Morgan to barge over. Cameron Smith converted to put his side 6-0 up.
The Kangaroos had more possession than in the Lions in the first half but England dealt with whatever was thrown at them and were remarkable in defence.
Bennett’s men had a couple of chances to score as well but a couple of handling errors denied them. Luke Gale’s kicking game was first class, England trailed 6-0 when going into the changing rooms at the break.
HALF TIME: Australia 6–0 England.
Morgan thought he had scored for the Kangaroos shortly after the restart when the ball went through quick hands along the line. Australian referee Gerard Sutton went to the screen and it was chalked off due to obstruction in the play.
England were playing with a lot of passion and this was evident when Chris Hill darted half way across the field to force an error in a tackle from Josh Dugan.
The Lions were on top in the final quarter and the Kangaroos were struggling to keep up with the intensity and pace that England were playing with. England forced a drop-out when a perfectly-weighted grubber sat nicely in the in-goal area but nothing came of it.
Bennett’s men were really piling on the pressure late on and had a brilliant chance to score when Kallum Watkins made a break down the right and looked to be away but was ankle tapped by Dugan.
England threw the kitchen sink at it in the final minutes of the game but Australia managed to hold them out. The Kangaroos retained their world champion status by sealing a 6-0 win to win the 2017 Rugby League World Cup final.
FULL TIME: Australia 6–0 England.
Australia – 6
Goals: Smith 1/1
Engand – 0
Loverugbyleague.com MOM: James Graham (England)
Australia: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Dane Gagai, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Josh Dugan, 5. Valentine Holmes, 6. Michael Morgan, 7. Cooper Cronk, 9. Cameron Smith (C), 10. David Klemmer, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Josh McGuire.
Interchange: 14. Wade Graham, 15. Jordan McLean, 16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 17. Tyson Frizell.
England: 1. Gareth Widdop, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. John Bateman, 5. Ryan Hall, 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Luke Gale, 8. Chris Hill, 9. James Roby, 10. James Graham, 16. Ben Currie, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 11. Sam Burgess (C).
Interchange: 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Tom Burgess, 17. Chris Heighington, 18. Jonny Lomax.
Referee – Gerard Sutton