Lockyer bows out triumphantly as Kangaroos bounce to Four Nations victory

England 8 Australia 30

Australia duly delivered a fairytale finish for captain Darren Lockyer as England's wait for a series victory over the old enemy continued.

Lockyer brought his stellar career to a fitting finale by scoring the game's last try and lifting the Gillette Four Nations trophy after a dominant performance by the Kangaroos in tonight's final in front of a capacity crowd of 34,174 at Elland Road.

It was the tourists' sixth successive win over their hosts at Elland Road and reminiscent of their 46-16 triumph in 2009 when they finished with a flourish to gain a flattering margin of victory.

This time the scoreline was a true reflection of the Kangaroos' superiority, which now stretches back 39 years to Great Britain's 1972 World Cup triumph.

England had raised hopes and expectations during an impressive round-robin campaign but, yet again, when it came to the crunch they were found wanting.

They were level at 8-8 after 55 minutes thanks largely to a superb effort from their experienced forwards and big defensive stints from centres Jack Reed and Kirk Yeaman, but the Aussies had seen three tries disallowed by video referee Ian Smith by then and they rammed home their advantage with four tries in the last 24 minutes.

Even with a half-fit Johnathan Thurston, whose left knee clearly reduced his effectiveness, the Kangaroos had the edge in most departments, with Lockyer pulling most of the strings.

England's forwards, with Adrian Morley making a record 50th international appearance, battled manfully but Steve McNamara's men could not scale the heights of their previous performances, with half-backs Kevin Sinfield and Rangi Chase struggling to impose themselves.

They spent the first half-hour dousing the flames as the Kangaroos started like a house on fire.

Second rower Sam Thaiday gave them a fourth-minute lead after winger Jharal Yow Yeh palmed the ball back from Thurston's high kick to his centre partner Chris Lawrence.

Thurston's touchline conversion made it 6-0 and Australia had two further tries disallowed as England struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Powerful winger Akuila Uate was denied by one of a series of crucial tackles by Reed and video referee Smith also disallowed a touchdown from Lawrence after Sam Tomkins failed to deal with Lockyer's high kick.

Tomkins, so impressive on his two previous performances, looked frail under the high ball and was deprived of the space he enjoyed seven days earlier against the Kiwis to make inroads into the Aussies' defence.

The introduction from the bench of second rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan added some pep into England's attack and it was his half-break that set up the position for their equalising try.

England would have been forgiven had they opted to take the two points when handed a penalty in front of the posts but their bold decision to run the ball paid off when Ryan Hall took Sinfield's long pass to get over at the corner.

Slow-motion replays indicated the Leeds winger lost control of the ball in the act of touching down but the video referee clearly felt that was a direct result of Thurston's swinging arm around his head and consequently awarded a penalty try.

Sinfield's goal from in front of the posts levelled matters but Thurston edged his side back in front with a penalty on the stroke of half-time

Their try breathed new life into England and they enjoyed their best spell of the match early in the second half and Sinfield brought his side level for a second time with a penalty, but again it was shortlived after Briscoe knocked on near his own line to put his side under pressure.

England enjoyed another let-off when Yow Yeh found himself in space but hesitated within sight of the corner and was bundled into touch.

However, he made no mistake two minutes later when Boyd's cut-out pass gave the Brisbane winger even more space to score Australia's second try and England had barely recovered from that blow when the impressive Paul Gallen broke through their first line of defence to get Thurston over.

The half-back added both conversions to make it 20-8 and, although Reed almost got Gareth Ellis over after profiting from a knock-on by Uate, the game had gone.

Thurston combined with Anthony Watmough to get Greg Inglis striding over for a try and in the final minute Lockyer completed the script when he successfully chase his own grubber kick to touch down.

With five goals from as many attempts, man of the match Thurston gave way to Lockyer for the final kick at goal. but the great man demonstrated he is human after all by slicking the conversion attempt.

 

PA

 

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee