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Page last updated at 21:22 GMT, Saturday, 7 November 2009

England eye revenge over Aussies

Four Nations final: England v Australia
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds Date: Saturday, 14 November Kick-off: 1930 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Sport website. Also on Sky Sports 2

England players celebrate
England players celebrate victory over New Zealand

England coach Tony Smith said the team was motivated by getting revenge on Australia as they beat New Zealand 20-12 to reach the Four Nations final.

England set up a rematch with Australia a week after being humbled by them in the first half of England's 26-16 loss.

"That was part of our motivation to get through, we wanted another crack at Australia," said Smith.

"We wanted to put together a better half than we did last time and give ourselves a chance."

Smith added: "It's a real shot in the arm for the game in the northern hemisphere and for Super League.

"The southern hemisphere are always favourites in our sport, and to beat them to the final is a feat in itself - but we're not satisfied yet."


England were 18-6 up at half-time in a tense encounter against the world champions, with the Kiwis increasing the tension with a try early in the second half.

But England's young side held their nerve in testing conditions with the only additional change to the scoreline being Kevin Sinfield's late penalty to push England out of reach.

"I thought the lads were brave tonight, that was what got us through," said captain Jamie Peacock.

"We knew it was always going to be a tough game, even at 18-6 you knew the Kiwis would come back into it and they did that, but we defended well and we've come away with the win."

Young half-back pairing Kyle Eastmond and Sam Tomkins were particularly eye-catching, and veteran Peacock said they had made a big difference.

"They've been great," added Peacock. "They've really added something and they've got no fear - it's been good for us the last couple of games."

Man-of-the-match Sinfield played out of position at hooker and scored four goals, but was keen to stress it was a team effort.

"It's a team - there's a lot of togetherness now and that's how it should be," stated Sinfield.

"We did a lot of defending. I think this is a big step forward for us, and looking at next week, we need to improve again."


New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney was gracious in defeat and praised England and believes they can push the Kangaroos all the way next Saturday.

"Full credit to the English side, I thought they were very good tonight," he said.

"They were certainly very physical through the middle.

"I've got to say we're very disappointed. We didn't put our best foot forward, but the English didn't allow us to do that. I thought they were wonderful.

"With their last 50 minutes against Australia and tonight, that will certainly put them in a good position next weekend."

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see also
England 20-12 New Zealand
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
France 4-42 Australia
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
France 12-62 New Zealand
31 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Smith rues early England errors
31 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
England 16-26 Australia
31 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
England v Australia photos
31 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
England-Australia as it happened
31 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Australia 20-20 New Zealand
24 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
England 34-12 France
23 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Four Nations fixtures and results
14 Nov 09 |  Rugby League

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