Nov 2, 2014 at 5am UK at ​AAMI Park, Melbourne
Australia
16-12
England
Jennings (16'), Hunt (57'), Inglis (65')
FT
Watkins (28'), Hall (34')

Live Commentary: Australia 16-12 England - as it happened

Dejection for Sean O'Loughlin of England during the Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between New Zealand and England at Wembley Stadium on November 23, 2013
© Getty Images
Relive with Sports Mole's live commentary all the action from England's dramatic Four Nations defeat to Australia in Melbourne.

Australia and England met in their Four Nations clash in Melbourne in the second week of the competition.

Steve McNamara's side had the chance to knock the Kangaroos out of the tournament and seal their place in the final, following their victory over Samoa and Australia's defeat to New Zealand in their respective opening games.

England held an eight point half-time lead thanks to tries from Kallum Watkins and Ryan Hall, but the Aussies came roaring back in the second period as Ben Hunt and Greg Inglis fired them ahead.

In the final minute, Hall looked to have touched down for the visitors after a mistake from Inglis, but the Australian officials deemed that there was not enough pressure on the ball to award the score, allowing the hosts to seal the victory.

Read how all the action unfolded in Sports Mole's live commentary below.


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4.30amGood morning and welcome to the live commentary of the Four Nations clash between Australia and England.

4.32amEngland can dispatch the Kangaroos out of the competition with a victory this morning following Tim Sheens's side's defeat in their first game of the tournament to New Zealand.

4.35amThe Kiwis hammered Australia 30-12 to end their 16-match winning run and now the Kangaroos are in a desperate fight to remain in the tournament. Meanwhile, Steve McNamara's side will be looking to build on their battling win over Samoa, which may look even better following New Zealand's struggles against Matt Parish's yesterday.

4.36amThe team news has been announced and we'll start with England.

4.40amENGLAND: Tomkins, Charnley, Watkins, Sarginson, Hall, Widdop, Smith, Burgess, Hodgson, Graham, Farrell, Tomkins, O'Loughlin.

4.43amA couple of late changes for England as captain Sean O'Loughlin is fit to face the Kangaroos and he replaces Joe Westerman in the lineup, while Dan Sarginson comes into the team for Michael Shenton.

4.45amAUSTRALIA: Inglis, Mansour, Jennings, Walker, Mata'utia, Cherry-Evans, Cronk, Woods, Smith, Thaiday, Scott, Bird, Parker.

4.48amSione Mata'utia becomes Australis's youngest debutant in a Test match at the age of 18 as he replaces Daniel Tapou in the lineup from the defeat to the Kiwis. The Newcastle man beats Israel Folau's old record by 64 days.

4.50amEngland replacements: Clark, Ferres, Burgess, Hill.

4.52amAustralia replacements: Cordner, Hunt, Klemmer, Papalii.

4.55amFormer Great Britain skipper Paul Sculthorpe believes that England have the chance to do something very special this morning in Melbourne, he told BBC Sport: "What a great opportunity to put Australia out of a competition and it is not often we see that. You want to beat the Australians and this is a great opportunity with the forwards we have."

4.58amFive of England's players ply their trade in Australia, as James Graham, Sam Tomkins, George and Tom Burgess and Gareth Widdop play in the NRL. Graham believes that this experience will be vital in the clash in Melbourne, he said: ""That definitely helps when it comes to the preparation side of things. We can pass that experience on."

4.59amIt's a huge opportunity for England to reach the final of the Four Nations as they enter the pitch AAMI Park, as they hope to become the first English side to record a victory on Australian soil since 2006.

5amEngland are wearing red and white hoops today as the national anthems of both nations are being belted out, while Australia are channeling a West Ham United themed version of their kit rather than green and gold. In case you were interested.

1 minWe're underway in this Four Nations clash as Australia kickoff.

2 minAn early touch for the debutant Mata'utia as he receives a pass on his on goalline and is then welcomed to international rugby league, as he is quickly met by three England tacklers.

3 minA solid start by both sides in defense as Hall for England does well to claim a dipping kick from Cronk, while at the other end Inglis does the same to keep his composure from the on-rushing Burgess from Smith's high kick.

5 minAustralia's most penetrative attack in the game comes to an end on the England 30-metre line as Cherry-Evans fumbles the ball under pressure and Hall quickly jumps on it to steal possession for McNamara's men.

6 minEngland win a penalty and it gives them an early chance to test the Australia defence on the goalline.

8 minAustralia hold firm on the goalline as Mata'utia gathers a grubber kick from Widdop on the line after England had failed to find any penetration on the five-yard line. Great defence by the Kangaroos early on.

8 minAs Inglis raids forward from the goalline Farrell brings him down illegally and as a result he is placed on report by Australian referee Gerard Sutton.

9 minThe Aussies get the rub of the green as Sutton gives a penalty for a high tackle on Smith by O'Loughlin. A good kick by Cronk allows the hosts to turn up the heat on the England line inside their 20-metre line.

10 minBig break for England as Australia knock on, on the five-metre line and that gives England a scrum to alleviate the pressure.

12 minEngland's turn to win a penalty as Sutton places the third player of the game on report. O'Loughlin is unfairly upended by Bird and the referee takes action.

13 minMcNamara's side can't take advantage of the penalty despite some slick passing in the Kangaroos half, as the attack comes to a grinding halt inside the 10-yard line when a grubber kick from Tompkins is picked up with ease by Cherry-Evans.

14 minAnother penalty in this early stage and you can't say that Sutton has been inconsistent as he has given these sorts of decisions to both teams. Mansour is brought down and it gives Australia another chance to kick deep and put England under the cosh.

15 minA knock-on allows England to gather and raid upfield, but Tomkins loses possession and allows Australia to raid back upfield.

16 minTRY! Australia 4-0 England (Jennings)

16 minAustralia take the lead as Bird surges through the line at midfield with a huge hole in the England defence. He offloads to Jennings to run for the try without being touched. The centre touches down and the referee asks for a look at the grounding, which is clumsy but is just enough for the points.

16 minCameron Smith somehow misses the conversion from close range as he blasts his kick wide of the posts. That miss could be something to monitor later on.

19 minEngland manage to reach the five-metre line of the Kangaroos again, but more poor play at the critical moment costs McNamara's side as Inglis once again shows his quality to gather the ball with ease.

22 minThe Kangaroos receive a penalty for offside and they surge right down the field and exert a huge amount of pressure on the England line. Cronk goes for the grubber kick, but he lacks accuracy and allows Sam Tomkins to gather and he immediately releases the run of Hall down the flank to begin another set for England.

24 minAustralia are edging the contest at the moment and Cherry-Evans lifts a high up and under to put Charnley under pressure after England do well to half the Kangaroos' advance at the 30-metre line. However, Charnley is up to the task and he gathers with ease amid a crowd of players.

26 minA huge breakaway for England as Ryan Hall sees a gap in the Aussie line and he surges through from his 20-metre line. He powers over midfield before he releases to Clark in support. Clark manages to get to the five-metre line, where he should unload but he doesn't and Inglis makes the saving tackle. However, that comes at a cost for the Aussies as Sutton hands England a penalty.

28 minTRY! Australia 4-6 England (Watkins)

28 minEngland take advantage of the penalty following the breakaway as they show quick hands across the line before Sam Tomkins offloads to Kallum Watkins, who breaks a tackle and touches down for the score. Widdop adds the conversion with an impressive kick from distance.

30 minMcNamara's men get the chance to put the hosts under more pressure as they win a penalty straight after the restart.

32 minEngland spurn the chance to put the Aussies under pressure at the line as Graham drops the ball on the 10-metre line and allows Australia to gather. A bad mistake for the prop to make.

34 minTRY! Australia 4-12 England (Hall)

34 minEngland extend their lead with a brilliant team try. First, Charnley does extremely well to go up an beat Inglis to win the ball from the up and under to give the Three Lions another series on the goalline. McNamara's side then spread the ball quickly down the left, and a skillful offload out of the back of the hand from Sarginson allows Hall to go in unchallenged for the score. Widdop adds extra with an impressive curling kick in the wind.

38 minTomkins comes to England's rescue right on the goalline as he reads the grubber kick from Cherry-Evans and he is able to kick the ball out of play before Jennings can touch the ball down for a score.

39 minAustralia miss a golden opportunity as they advance solidly from the dropout. Jennings squares up Watkins down the left and he beats the challenge of the centre, and all he needs is a clean offload to Bird and he can go in for the score, but his pass goes into touch.

39 minSam Tomkins breaks through the Australia defensive line at midfield and he offloads to Clark, but he drops the ball at the five-metre line as he tried to pass again to Widdop who broke upfield in support. That could have been the dagger to Australia there.

40 minHALF-TIME: Australia 4-12 England

6.02amEngland lead at the break and they are 40 minutes away from reaching the Four Nations final. McNamara will be delighted with what he has seen from his side after they responded to going down to Jennings's score in the 16th minute. England have come roaring back and have had the hosts on the back foot, and have scored two well taken tries through Kallum Watkins and Ryan Hall.

6.04amThere's plenty to build on and improve from an England point of view as they have had the ball in the Aussie five-metre line on numerous occasions, but their execution has let down at key moments. If they can improve in that area, they could run away with this match.

41 minWe're back underway in this Four Nations clash as England kickoff.

42 minBoth sides exchanges series at the start of the half and there is a slight worry for England as James Graham goes down clutching his ankle, but he appears to be ok to continue.

43 minHall is having an excellent game for England, and the winger continues his good performance as he makes a good grab to snag Cherry-Evans's high kick out of the air under pressure from Mata'utia.

45 minEngland are almost in again as they offload the ball quickly on the Aussie five-metre line, as Tomkins breaks over the Aussie line again. Tom Burgess tries an ambitious pass out of the back of his hand to Clark, but the hooker can't gather the ball.

47 minInglis gets the handoff deep in English territory and he surges for the line despite being tackled by Watkins. However, the try is chalked off for obstruction in the build-up to the score.

51 minNeither side is having great deal of success going forward in the second half, as both teams have been forced to kick the ball away without much penetration into opposition territory.

55 minAustralia get a chance to exert some pressure in the second half for the first time as they win a penalty for offside against Watkins.

57 minTRY! Australia 10-12 England (Hunt)

57 minAustralia get themselves back in the game as they take advantage of the penalty opportunity as Hunt touches down for the try after latching onto Smith's grubber kick on the line. Smith adds the extras to bring the Kangaroos within two points.

62 minThe Kangaroos are upping the ante here and the introduction of Hunt has really made a difference as he boots the ball high in the air, Charnley drops the ball under pressure but Watkins is on hand to bail him out with as he knocks the ball out of touch.

65 minTRY! Australia 16-12 England (Inglis)

65 minAustralia make their dominance count as they take the lead as Cherry-Evans finds space in the line and he breaks through and offloads to Inglis, who is left with the simple task of running the ball in for the try under the posts. Smith adds the conversion and now England have a lot of work to do to get back into the match.

68 minEngland raid back with a good series and Matty Smith sends the ball high towards the right corner, but Mata'utia makes an excellent claim under pressure to quell the attack. However, England can keep Australia penned deep in their own territory with a defensive stand here.

72 minA great kick from Cronk puts England under pressure as he kicks towards the goalline and Tomkins can't out, forcing a kick from under the England posts and another series from Australia.

76 minEngland manage to hold out against a tide of claret and blue, and they then raid upfield but the Three Lions can't manage to break the Aussie line, who manage hold out.

79 minDRAMA! England make a surge for the tryline in their last series. On their final tackle Farrell kicks the ball to the goalline, and Inglis in a race with Hall slips. He manages to knock the ball out of touch, but Hall manages to get a finger on the ball before it goes out. The Australian referee wants to look at the incident on the replay, and it suggests that Hall has enough pressure on the ball for the try, but the officials deem he didn't and it allows Australia to all-but see out the win.

80 minAustralia run out the clock to see out the victory in the most dramatic of circumstances.

80 minFULL-TIME: Australia 16-12 England

7.08amAustralia keep themselves in the Four Nations with a strong second-half performance as they rallied from an eight-point deficit at the break to claim a 16-12 victory. However, it ends in controversy as Hall isn't awarded a try despite appearing to have enough pressure on the ball to register the score.

7.11amEngland will be disappointed to lose this game after their dominant display in the first half. McNamara's side just couldn't match their intensity of the opening 40 minutes in the second period, and they will rue their lack of attacking threat as they now face a showdown against New Zealand for a place in the final next week.

7.15amThanks for joining our commentary this morning. We'll be back next week with the clash between England and New Zealand on Saturday, until then, goodbye.

Jonathan Thurston
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