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England-Australia as it happened

Live video - England v Australia



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By Julian Shea

1616: FULL TIME England 16-26 Australia.

The hooter goes, and despite England came come off with a lot of pride restored and feeling rather good about themselves. The first half was embarrassingly one-sided, with Australia barely breaking sweat, but when England took the game to them in the second half and actually applied some sustained pressure, the Kangaroos were a far less scary proposition. England v New Zealand is most likely to be the decider for the chance to play Australia in the tournament final on 14 November, and on the basis of that second half display, should it be England who qualify, they should go in feeling pretty good about their chances. But on the basis of the first half, however, they would have next to no chance. But isn't that why we love the game, because it's unpredictable?

1615: "Why didn't this team run out at the start???" HailthePocketRocket on 606

1608: TRY England 16-26 Australia.

Kevin Sinfield and Kyle Eastmond set up Lee Smith, who dives over in the right-hand corner, but could hardly cut it any finer with crossing the line as his foot brushes the whitewash. But the important thing is that the video replay says he was not in touch, and the try stands. A shame Kevin Sinfield can't convert, but the last 40 minutes have made for uplifting viewing for England spectators.

1606: Hold on, hold on.... Johnathan Thurston, who was earlier warned for backchat, holds on to Lee Smith in the tackle for too long and is sent to the sin bin. With just seven minutes remaining, that means Australia are down to 12 men for the rest of the game. They think it's all over.... ok so surely there's not quite enough time to make it up, but they're certainly

1604: "Excellent stuff by England, putting the Aussies under loads of pressure and getting the result." eirebilly on 606

1535: TRY England 12-26 Australia.

England get a repeat set after piling the pressure on Billy Slater, Kyle Eastmond offloads to Sam Tomkins, whose sidestep splits the Kangaroo defence and his one-handed pass is snaffled by Gareth Ellis, who touches down for a well deserved second England try. Lee Smith's kick adds two more points and all of a sudden, England have a much happier outlook.

1559: A drop-out under the sticks from Kyle Eastmond leads to Petero Civoniceva knocking on on the half-way line, which sets up yet more England pressure. Whatever Tony Smith said at the break, it certainly seems to have had some effect and - famous last words - England's second half performance so far has at least restored some pride.

1556: Stat attack - Australia had 60% possession in the first half, England have had 62% possession so far in the second half. Unfortunately, though, they've not managed the point a minute scoring rate that Australia started with.

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the DW Stadium on Twitter: "This is better. Much better. Some heart, spirit and invention. Though the Aussies might have switched off a touch."

1546: Sam Burgess comes very close to a second try for England but loses control of the ball as he goes to ground it. You can't help but feel Australia are taking a bit of a breather at the moment and could click back into rampaging mode at any moment, but England are giving their defence plenty to keep them busy at the moment.

1535: TRY England 6-26 Australia.

At last - Ben Westwood gets the ball over the line but is held up, and second time lucky Sam Burgess does the damage, taking Kevin Sinfield's fine reverse pass and shrugging off three tackles to stretch out an arm and touch down. Kevin Sinfeild applies the extras. The comeback starts here! Well, sort of...

1533: This is more like it - Danny McGuire burst through the defence chasing a Sam Tomkins kick, as England apply some pressure. If nothing else, at least England are getting used to the novelty of having the ball in their hands.

1530: And we're off again. Tony Smith has at least made a few changes, reshuffling the pack with Tom Briscoe finding himself back on the bench and Kyle Eastmond on the pitch. It's got to be worth a try.

"Brazil at football, New Zealand at rugby union - Australia's rugby league team are up there with those guys." BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the DW Stadium on Twitter: "A first half to crush any lingering Four Nations' illusions.."

1523: eirebilly has a point there - right at the start England did have the vaguest whiff of a chance but there was no-one in any position to pick up Kevin Sinfield's off-load in the tackle, and the ball was soon up the other end of the field, where it has spent most of the last 40 minutes. If you were Tony Smith, what would you do at half-time? And before you say it, "give up" is not the answer we're looking for.

1519: "Our right side is just not even in the game... Aussies are walking through Smith and Briscoe. Smith is having a shocker." HailthePocketRocket on 606

1518: "I still think that a major turning point was when no-one was backing Sinfield up under the posts when England were 0-6 down. England's confidence looked shaken after that." eirebilly on 606

1515: HALF TIME England 0-26 Australia.

England are booed off the pitch at the DW Stadium, but to be honest, those fans might be better off using their energy to applaud a faultless performance from the visitors (well, faultless apart from those two missed conversions - but you know what I mean). Five tries all down the same flank - hmm, I wonder if anyone in the England backroom team has spotted a pattern developing there and noticed something that might need correcting?

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the DW Stadium on Twitter: "This is far, far too easy. I'm sat next to the Aussie media manager who seems pretty happy to say the least. This could be painful."

1511: At last, with the sands of the first half running out, England put some pressure on the Australian line and Robbie Farrah knocks on a Kevin Sinfield pass under the sticks. Advantage England, with a good field position. If they can get on the board before the break it will make them feel so much better.

1510: BBC commentator Dave Woods reveals that Australia hooker Robbie Farrah paid £500 for a ticket to see Liverpool v Manchester United last week - fortunately for him, he's a Liverpool fan. If he fancies going to another match, I think he's on course for another win bonus here today.

1505: TRY England 0-26 Australia.

Danny McGuire's error turns over possession to Luke Lewis, whose pass finds Inglis, who in turn throw out a long pass to allow Brett Morris to touch down in - yes, that same corner yet again, where all the tries have come. Morris - who is 10 minutes younger than twin Josh - scores his second try in his second international. Thurston misses the conversion, but other than a dent to his professional pride, I can't see it having a huge effect on the outcome of the match.

1503: Australia's defence is awesome - any time England even thinking of launching an attack, they get absolutely smothered. The Kangaroos seem to be playing down a slope on the left wing, it's such one-way traffic down there.

1502: "Can someone turn off the ref's microphone during play? It's spoiling the game him shouting "PLAY, HOLD, STOP" all the time. It was the same at the Challenge cup. Come on BBC. It's annoying." Dave via text. Do you agree?

1458: "McGuire and Smith. Out of their depth!" sloopjohnd on 606

1451: TRY England 0-22 Australia.

The first time England have the temerity to mount any sort of meaningful attack, Danny McGuire's stray pass to Sam Burgess fails to find its recipient, Thurston mops up and offloads to Greg Inglis who sprints two-thirds of the length of the field to touch down under the posts. An easy job for Thurston to make it 22-0 to Australia. A point a minute. What can you say?

1451: TRY England 0-16 Australia.

Stop me if you've heard this one before... Thurston to Inglis to Watmough, who offloads back on the inside to that man Billy Slater again. And once he's got the ball in his hands, that's the end of matters - why else do you think he got that nickname? No mistakes with the conversion from Johnathan Thurston this time. Not much mention of England so far, you will have noticed. That's because they've barely touched the ball.

1448: TRY England 0-10 Australia.

Uh-oh, this is starting to feel a bit uncomfortable. Jamie Peacock loses possession in the tackle, and the ball is worked out from Thurston to Lockyer to Billy Slater on the left, and he bursts past Lee Smith and Danny McGuire to touch down in the corner.A crumb of comfort for England is the fact that Thurston missed his conversion from a tight angle - missed conversions ended up costing New Zealand dear last week, so Tony Smith and co will be hoping it's Australia's end to be on the receiving end this time.

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the DW Stadium on Twitter: "Went to the toilet before kick-off and saw a bloke cleaning his teeth. What? Turned out he's singing the national anthems and was freshening up"

1442: Just 10 minutes gone and already Johnathan Thurston needs to keep his mouth shut - he's just been given his last warning by referee Steve Ganson for backchat.

1442: Australia's Billy "See ya later" Slater (best nickname in sport? Discuss) has already taken a knock to his leg which he is trying to run off, and has a bloody nose. That's proof that at least England are taking the game to the Kangaroos.

1435: TRY England 0-6 Australia.

Just as I was about to say what a fairly cagey start it was by both teams, Australia pull the trigger and open the scoring through Darren Lockyer. Johnathan Thurston passes to captain Lockyer on the half-way line, his pass finds Greg Inglis and he sprints straight down the field, offloading to Lockyer just short of the line for him to touch down the opening try.Thurston adds the afters. Five minutes gone and it's already become a lot more difficult for England.

1430: National anthems played by the Dinnington Colliery Brass Band and conducted by, er, comedian and 'Maestro' winner Sue Perkins.

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the DW Stadium on Twitter: "If you're stuck in traffic heading to England v Australia you have my fullest sympathy. A true horror story of modern life."

1415: Are you sitting comfortably? Then get ready for an afternoon of spills, thrills and probably a bit of bellyaching after the final hooter. This afternoon Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer, already the most capped Australian player in history, equals Clive Churchill's record for matches as captain. But after seeing Australia get out of jail against New Zealand last week, Tony Smith's England will fancy their chances of spoiling his celebrations.

Admittedly England didn't set the world on fire in their opening match against France, but at least they come into the game on the back of a victory, rather than a snatched draw. This could be a good 'un.

England: S Briscoe, T Briscoe, Smith, Shenton , Hall, McGuire, Tomkins, Morley, Roby, Graham, Ellis, Peacock (capt), Sinfield.

Australia: Slater, Morris, Inglis, Hodges, Hayne, Lockyer (capt), Thurston, Hannant, Smith, Civoniceva, Watmough, Gallen, Hindmarsh.

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see also
England v Australia photos
31 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
England 16-26 Australia
31 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Tomkins handed start by England
29 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Closing the gap?
29 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Australia 20-20 New Zealand
24 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
England 34-12 France
23 Oct 09 |  Rugby League

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