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Page last updated at 20:07 GMT, Saturday, 19 November 2011

England v Australia as it happened


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By Stephan Shemilt
BBC Sport

2005: And so the 2011 Four Nations comes to an end. England fans will be disappointed, but can anyone really begrudge Darren Lockyer success in his final game? I don't think so. You can read Elizabeth Hudson's match report here, but that's all from me.

Australia manager Tim Sheens: "It was a battle, it took until the last 15 minutes to secure the win. It was a great atmosphere and a great game of footie. We had to work very, very hard but, to our credit, we did. It's been a very good tour and we go home very happy to get the win."

Retiring Australia captain Darren Lockyer addressing the Elland Road crowd: "I would like to congratulate England, they have been terrific. Congratulations to the Australian team, thank you for a memorable time. To the people of England, thank you for the respect you've shown us. I've appreciated coming here to play, there's been some special moments for me. Thank you and goodbye."

Ian Millward
Castleford coach Ian Millward on BBC Radio 5 live: "What I'd like to talk about is the way Australia were so clinical. This is a nation where rugby league is the number one sport, like football is in this country. They lost the last World Cup and there was a lot of pressure here. And also it was Darren Lockyer's last game on this stage. They were superb. The playmakers for Australia, the way they directed the team, the way they kicked, the way they exploited space. It was a very clinical, outstanding performance by Australia. Last week in the semi-final England beat the Four Nations holders, played them off the park. They were a second best team in the tournament. I don't like the way the attack is lacking cohesion, they look very unsure and panicky and they need to improve that if they are going to beat Australia."

England second-row Gareth Ellis: "We were under the pump in the first half but we stuck at it. We were in the game at half time and needed to keep it tight, but Australia proved to be that bit better than us tonight."

80 mins: Eng 8-30 Aus You really couldn't write it, as Darren Lockyer's chip kick comes back off the post and into the great man's hands, allowing him to mark the end of his career with a try. He takes the conversion too, but a horrible mis-kick is nowhere near going over. That might not have been in the script, but it at least shows he's human. The bottom line is, Australia are Four Nations champions, and England's wait for silverware continues.


Try graphic

78 mins: Eng 8-26 Aus With the clock running down, we're going through the last rites of the 2011 Four Nations, and Darren Lockyer's stellar career...

Dan Myerscough on Twitter: "Clinical Aussies and typical England. The sooner we realise a match against Australia is 80 mins long we might beat them."

76 mins: Eng 8-26 Aus To be fair to England, they haven't given up, and it takes some good Australian defence to keep them out. The attack is ultimately fruitless though.

74 mins: Eng 8-26 Aus Exhibition handling and running now from the Aussies, and England will do well to keep this respectable. The hosts had their luck in the first period, and needed to take advantage when they were on top after the break. Since going in front for the second time, Australia have been unstoppable.

71 mins: Eng 8-26 Aus Game over, as Greg Inglis's dummy fools the English defence and allows him to gallop over unchallenged. Thurston adds the extras, and Australia will be sending Darren Lockyer to retirement with one final piece of silverware.


Try graphic

68 mins: Eng 8-20 Aus England come again, but Australia mop up a chipped kick. The next score is vital. Australia could be out of sight, but England could set up some finish.

66 mins: Eng 8-20 Aus Elland Road is quiet, but is sparked to life when Akuila Uate drops a high bomb. Gareth Ellis can only knock-on Jack Reed's pass though, and the Aussies survive.

64 mins: Eng 8-20 Aus Does that answer my question? Some lazy defending by England gives Australia the run of the centre of the pitch. Paul Gallen eventually feeds Johnathan Thurston, who gallops in under the posts before adding the simplest of kicks. Game over?



59 mins: Eng 8-14 Aus It was almost inevitable. Quick hands by Australia, in a move begun by Lockyer, allow Yow Yeh in at the corner. Thurston, from wide, adds a difficult kick. Huge period now, will England hit back, or will the Aussies run away with it?


Try graphic

56 mins: Eng 8-8 Aus The man with the best name in sport, Cooper Cronk, is introduced by the Aussies. More pressure from the visitors....

55 mins: Eng 8-8 Aus Here comes the Aussie response, the ref wipes the tackle count clean with the visitors only 20m out. Yow Yeh goes for the corner and is pounced on by Jamie Jones-Buchanan and James Roby, who push him in to touch, but has he got the ball down over the try line? We go upstairs, and after a nervous wait, England are reprieved. Nervous times.

53 mins: Eng 8-8 Aus We're all square! Forget English luck in the first half, they've been all over the green and gold shirts since the break. Less than half an hour to go. Game on.


51 mins: Eng 6-8 Aus More England pressure, sparked by the dancing Rangi Chase. They win a penalty as the Aussies as penalised for tackling the man without the ball. Sinfield to kick from close range, to the right of the posts....

49 mins: Eng 6-8 Aus It's all England, as James Roby spots a gap in the Aussie defence. He's held up, and Kevin Sinfield can then only knock on.

48 mins: Eng 6-8 Aus A great offload from Kirk Yeaman looked to have the Aussies under pressure, but England, perhaps panicking, couldn't take advantage. They're forced back, but this is much better from the hosts.

46 mins: Eng 6-8 Aus England are kicking more than in the first half, and are spending more time in the Aussie half. Greg Inglis knocks on to give England the scrum 20m out.

45 mins: Eng 6-8 Aus Deep kick from the Aussies has Sam Tomkins under pressure. England ride the storm and make ground despite a couple of high-looking tackles. The Kangaroos mop up the kick though, and push England back to a 20m restart when a kick of Thurston's runs out of play.

Ian Millward
Castleford coach Ian Millward on BBC Radio 5 live: "England had a first-half completion rate of 86% which is very good and they need to continue that and also control the ruck because the Australia outside backs are a handful."

41 mins: Eng 6-8 Aus Kevin Sinfield goes for a 40/20 but gets his angles slightly wrong, allowing the Aussies to run at the England defence.

1902: Ready? The players are out, let's do it all again....

Jon Smalldon on Twitter: "Video ref helping England; on-field ref helping Oz. Perhaps next time let's have two neutrals."
Don't forget you can get involved on Twitter using the hashtag #bbcrugbyleague

Dave Burrill on Twitter: "My, my, Thurston was a lucky boy to still be on the field to kick that penalty."

Australian F1 driver Mark Webber on Twitter: "Is driving to Elland road to knock out video ref! You have smashed a wasp nest up now buddy. 2nd half will be all AUS..."

1853: So what did we make of all that? England really could have been 24-0 down at one point, so it's a huge bonus that they have reached the break only two points behind. Having said that, they will know they will need to improve in the second half if they are to have any chance of preventing the Four Nations trophy returning to the land down under.

40 mins: Eng 6-8 Aus For all the joy around Elland Road at that penalty try, you have to say it would have been cruel on the Aussies had the teams gone in level at the break. It comes to pass that Kangaroos have the lead when Gareth Ellis is penalised for offside, and Johnathan Thurston kicks a simple penalty.

Half time

38 mins: Eng 6-6 Aus Hard to believe really. Sustained England pressure leads to Sinfield feeding Ryan Hall, who finds the space to squeeze over. Before he can get the ball down, he is clattered high by Thurston, which causes the knock-on. The video ref rules in favour of England, awarding the penalty try, which results in Sinfield slotting over the easiest of kicks. After all those let offs and being second best for most of the game, England are level.


Try graphic

36 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus The sustained England pressure leads to Ryan Hall going over the line. He looks to drop the ball but is hit high by Johnathan Thurston, it goes up to the video ref...

35 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus A brilliant run from Jamie Jones-Buchanan leads to him being held down in the tackle and a penalty to England. More pressure on the Aussies with an England scrum 10m out...

33 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus Yet more luck for England as Sam Tomkins spills another Australian high bomb. The ball falls to the feet of Keith Galloway, who can only knock on.

30 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus Another let off for England, this time as the huge Tony Williams drops the ball in the tackle close to the England try line.

28 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus The crowd are doing their best to lift the home side as they pressure Australia deep in the Kangaroos' half. Lockyer kicks as Australia make ground, but it rolls into touch for an England scrum on their 10m line.

Ian Millward
Castleford coach Ian Millward on BBC Radio 5 live: "England have got to hang in there and try and withstand this Australian challenge. The scoreline says they are still in it. When England are attacking they are getting good metres around the ruck and they are looking alright but their last tackle option needs work."

Robert Wood on Twitter: "What an atmosphere!! I hope the English live up to the noise of the crowd."

25mins: Eng 0-6 Aus England really are hanging on here, staying in touch by virtue of some desperate defending. A rare venture in the Aussie half ends with Tom Briscoe being pushed into touch. Australia were stretched, but England couldn't take advantage.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Kieran, Cardiff, via text on 81111: "Is it just me or do Matt Dawson and Darren Lockyer look like long lost brothers?"

21 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus False alarm! Sam Tomkins gets nowhere near Lockyer's kick and Lawrence strolls over the line. However, somewhat controversially, the video ref chalks it off for offside. Breathe.

Try graphic

19 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus England ride out the storm and start an attack of their own, but Rangi Chase's kick is poor, allowing Australia to recover. Uate finds space on the left but is halted by Jack reed. Sam Thaiday's knock-on lets the hosts off the hook.

Ian Millward
Castleford coach Ian Millward on BBC Radio 5 live: "Lockyer and Thurston are dominating the halves and although both sides are making good yardage, the kicking game from Australia is better at the moment."

16 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus Australia look stretched but the England kicking is left to Gareth Ellis, and he can only find Uate. Here come the Aussies...

14 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus A high shot by David Shillington on James Graham goes unnoticed by the referee, but England still put the Aussies under pressure. However, another good kick by Thurston leaves the hosts on the back foot.

12 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus Akuila Uate gets in at the corner, but he looks to have been pushed into touch by Jack Reed. The video ref confirms as much, and England breathe a sign of relief.

10 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus Cameron Smith kicks from the halfway line after only three tackles, and the green and gold charge has England under pressure. Ryan Hall passes into touch, giving the Aussies the put in at the scrum.

Ian Millward
Castleford coach Ian Millward on BBC Radio 5 live: "Two weeks ago James Roby, who is a very influential player, didn't run a lot from dummy half but he did it more against New Zealand last week and caused problems for the Kiwis and that could be crucial."

6 mins: Eng 0-6 Aus Terrible start for England. Thurston's kick is claimed by Jharal Yow Yeh, who lets in Sam Thaiday for the opening score. A hint that Thiaday is offside at the kick, but referee Matt Chechin decides not to go the video ref. Thurston adds the extras.


Try graphic

3 mins: Eng 0-0 Aus Poor kick from Darren Lockyer is straight to Sam Tomkins. Good ground made by England, but Kevin Sinfield's high kick is claimed by the Aussies. Penalty to the Kangaroos for three Englishmen in the tackle.

1 min: Eng 0-0 Aus We're underway...

1800: Anthems sung, posturing over, talking stopped. Time for action.

1758: Time for the anthems. Say what you like about the Aussies, but Advance Australia Fair is a stonking anthem.

1757: There are two huge flags on the turf at Elland Road, while Jerusalem belts out over the tannoy. The teams emerge from the tunnel and are greeted by Land Of Hope And Glory. Flags are waving in the crowd, it's a bit like the last night of the the Proms. Except with more men in shorts.

1753:Those wonderful chaps at Radio 5 live are just beginning their coverage from Elland Road. Hit manual refresh and you willl see a link in the top right corner.

Retiring Australia captain Darren Lockyer: "There's always nerves, there were nerves playing at Wembley. It's a final so the nerves will be there even more. With any big game, you are always thinking about the outcome. I can just tell from an outsider looking in that England are very focused at the moment. They're doing a lot of things right. They believe in themselves, it's a committed team and they're playing in front of their home crowd, so it's going to make it very difficult for us."

1750: Ten minutes from kick-off, and England look ready as they embrace each other in the dressing rooms. During the warm-up Darren Lockyer looked like the calmest man in Elland Road - some thoughts of his to come. Not sure about you, but I'm a little nervous.

Jon Smalldon on Twitter: "21 years ago Mal Meninga showed me that life was cruel, unfair and brutal. If England win today I might forgive him."

Australia manager Tim Sheens: "We have a high respect for them, they threw more at us in the game at Wembley than New Zealand did. We didn't know a number of their players, they've got some fine new talent in that side."

England coach Steve McNamara: "We felt that we certainly troubled them at certain stages at Wembley. I was relatively pleased but when you lose a game, and lose it by a reasonable margin, you understand that there is work to be done. We understand what will be required from us in order to win."

1741: Still there's more, with England's Adrian Morley leading the undercard by winning his 50th cap and setting a record for the most capped international in British rugby league. One man who will hope is role is limited to that of an extra will be referee Matt Cecchin. That's Australian referee Matt Cecchin.

Sam Wires on Twitter: "I'll remain positive right up to the point Thurston waltzes through us after 5 mins."

1737: And with those teams confirmed, we can discuss the sub-plots, headlined by the final bow of Australia skipper Darren Lockyer. When we're talking modern sporting greats, he eats at the same table as Sachin Tendulkar, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Phil Taylor. The most capped player in rugby league is Australia's leading try-scorer, has made more State of Origin appearances for Queensland than any other player and won four NRL titles to go with his World Cup winners' medal. Legend.

England: Tomkins, Hall, Reed, Yeaman, Briscoe, Sinfield, Chase, Graham, Roby, Peacock, Wilkin, Ellis, Westwood. Replacements: Widdop, Morley, Jones-Buchanan, Carvell.

Australia: Boyd, Uate, Inglis, Lawrence, Yow Yeh, Lockyer, Thurston, Gallen, Smith, M. Scott, Lewis, Thaiday, Watmough. Replacements: Cronk, Galloway, Shillington, Williams.

1733: The teams are in, and rumours that injury may keep Aussie scrum-half Johnathan Thurston out prove to be unfounded. England, with Gareth Ellis passed fit to take his place in the second row, line up as expected.

5 live's George Riley on Twitter: "Just been in England dressing room. Kit men hanging up shirts 1-17. Amarillo blaring out of the iPod."

1726: OK, I admit that history does point towards an Aussie procession to the title, but Engand are in good shape to take the bounce out of the Kangaroos. Don't believe me? Then read the thoughts of former Wigan coach Brian Noble, who says that McNamara's men will win by four points.

1723: So where to start? Well, as an impartial BBC journalist I shall remind you that England have not won a series involving Australia since 1972, and that the last of their seven straight defeats against the Kangaroos came two weeks ago at Wembley. But Steve McNamara's improving side have plenty of reasons to be optimistic, the biggest of which is last week's demolition of world champions New Zealand.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
1719: There's plenty to talk about before kick off at 1800, so I'll begin by telling you how to get in touch. You can text me on 81111 or get involved via hashtag #BBCRugbyLeague on Twitter. Go on, you know you want to. It's the perfect way to start your Saturday night.

1715: And then there were two. But not just any two. England v Australia in front of a packed house at Elland Road for the Four Nations title. History. Emotion. Passion. This evening will have it all. If you're not up this one, you might need to check your pulse.

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see also
England 8-30 Australia
19 Nov 11 |  Rugby League
Ellis fit for England final squad
18 Nov 11 |  Rugby League
Morley 'proud' to reach 50 caps
16 Nov 11 |  Rugby League
Enjoy win over NZ, says McNamara
14 Nov 11 |  Rugby League
Wales 14-56 Australia
13 Nov 11 |  Rugby League
England 28-6 New Zealand
13 Nov 11 |  Rugby League
England 20-36 Australia
06 Nov 11 |  Rugby League

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