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
News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress and 100 others on 'master list' after massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
News
i100
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

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor