World Cup heart break for England
England's Kallum Watkins attacks during the Rugby League World Cup final between Australia and England, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, 2 December 2017. Copyright Image: Tertius Pickard / www.photosport.nz MANDATORY CREDIT/BYLINE : SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ
England produced a brave and battling performance in the World Cup Final as they lost out to a first half converted try and were unable to break the Kangaroos down in the second half to lose 6-0.
The eagerly anticipated World Cup Final clash between Australia and England lived up to the pre-match hype as the two powerhouses of global Rugby League went head to head in Brisbane.
The opening stages were a brutal physical battle with both sets of forwards testing each other out. However, England were increasingly finding themselves on the back foot at the end of sets and Australia managed to make their pressure count after 16 minutes.
Australia’s relentless hammering on the England door eventually buckles the defence, and second row Boyd Cordner eventually forced his way over.
The Sydney Roosters and New South Wales player took advantage of a tiring England line to brush aside the last man and bust a gap. Australia have a deserved lead.
England thought they had a break away chance in the final moments of the first half when an offload from Kallum Watkins put James Graham in space however the play was pulled back when the referee judged Watkins pass had gone forward, so it remained 6-0 at half time
The Kangaroos had a try ruled out midway through the first half by the video referee after Morgan thought he had doubled the hosts lead.
Wayne Bennett’s side grew in confidence after that and had two great chances before the hour mark. The first came to Rhinos start Kallum Watkins as he broke clear from inside his own half and looked clear only for the faintest of touches on his ankle managed to put him off his stride and he could not regain his feet before coming down. Lomax, on as a replacement, then thought he had scored when he raced through to touch down Roby’s grubber kick only for the referee to pull play back for a knock on in the build up.
In the final minute, England nearly created a score to take the game to extra time only for Australia to sweep up at the back to collect Watkins kick in field on the hooter.