Kiwis break English hearts

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23rd November 2013

New Zealand 20, England 18

Liam Williams

At Wembley Stadium

 

New Zealand are through to the final of Rugby League World Cup 2013 after beating hosts England thanks to a last-minute try at the end of an enthralling encounter at Wembley.

New Zealand started as favourites but failed to assert their early dominance and England took an 8-0 lead through Sean O’Loughlin and kicks from Kevin Sinfield but the Kiwis levelled through Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s try and goals from Shaun Johnson.

New Zealand scored the opening try of the second half through Tuivasa-Sheck before England regained their lead with tries from Kallum Watkins and Sam Burgess, however with the last play of the game, Johnson broke through the England defence to make it 18-18 before converting his own try to win the game.

The Kiwis tested England’s line twice early on, first as Issac Luke chased his own grubber kick before Tomkins kicked the ball dead, and shortly after as Josh Charnley and Watkins forced Jason Nightingale into touch.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was fortunate to avoid being put on report for a swinging arm to a prone Sam Burgess, giving England their first opportunity to test the Kiwis’ defence.

England did make a push towards the line, but after Charnley palmed the ball back into play, Bryson Goodwin broke away; the centre only denied a try by excellent defending from Ryan Hall.

Soonafter, O’Loughlin scored the opening try of the game as the New Zealand defence failed to bring down Sam Burgess, who offloaded to the Wigan Warriors loose forward before Sinfield added the conversion.

England showed no signs of resting on their laurels and continued to apply pressure to the New Zealand line, with James Roby forcing a goal-line drop out which quickly led to an England penalty. Sinfield opted to kick for goal, increasing the lead to eight points.

New Zealand hit back after half an hour, when Dean Whare found Tuivasa-Sheck with a brilliant offload, before Johnson kicked the conversion.

The scrum-half then made it 8-8 with a penalty of his own, sending the sides in level at half time.

New Zealand were quick out of the blocks in the second half, Hall’s missed an interception opportunity allowed Tuivasa-Sheck to score his second try of the game.

As Tomkins waited underneath a high ball, Gareth Widdop was penalised for obstruction, to give New Zealand another penalty in front of the posts, which Johnson opted to kick, giving the Kiwis a six-point lead.

But England started to gather momentum, and a fresh set of six was enough to close the gap. Sinfield found Leeds Rhinos team mate Watkins who went over, with Sinfield unable to level the scores with his conversion attempt.

After an extended period of possession, England were rewarded with another try, as man of the match Sam Burgess powered over the line to restore the home side’s lead with 15 minutes left on the clock.

New Zealand were just seconds away from losing their world cup crown when a high tackle gave then a good attacking platform and Johnson made the most of it, jinking through the England defence, before converting his own try to see them through to the final.

 

New Zealand

1 Kevin Locke

2 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

3 Dean Whare

4 Bryson Goodwin

5 Jason Nightingale

6 Kieran Foran

7 Shaun Johnson

8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

9 Issac Luke

10 Jesse Bromwich

13 Simon Mannering

12 Sonny Bill Williams

17 Elijah Taylor

Interchange

14 Frank-Paul Nuuausala

15 Sam Kasiano

16 Ben Matulino

19 Alex Glenn



England

1 Sam Tomkins

2 Josh Charnley

3 Kallum Watkins

4 Leroy Cudjoe

5 Ryan Hall

6 Gareth Widdop

7 Kevin Sinfield

8 James Graham

9 James Roby

10 Sam Burgess

11 Brett Ferres

12 Ben Westwood

13 Sean O’Loughlin

Interchange

14 Rob Burrow

15 George Burgess

16 Chris Hill

17 Carl Ablett

 

Referee: Ben Cummins (Australia)

New Zealand 20 Tries: Tuivasa-Sheck 2, Johnson; Goals: Johnson 4

England 18 Tries: O’Loughlin, Watkins, S Burgess; Goals: Sinfield 3

Kiwis break English hearts 2013.superleague.co.uk