Slater shines as Kangaroos thump England - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Slater shines as Kangaroos thump England

By Steve Jancetic 15/11/2009 10:35:09 AM Comments (0)

Billy Slater atoned for his moment of madness in last year's World Cup final with a piece of brilliance to secure Australia the Four Nations trophy with a 46-16 win over a gallant England in Leeds on Saturday night.

Slater scored a second half hat-trick but it was the fullback's effort to set up Melbourne teammate Cameron Smith which defined his match-winning performance.

Slater, whose errant pass infield cost Australia the World Cup last year, juggled and then acrobatically tapped the ball back infield for Smith to pounce on the crumbs and give Australia a 28-16 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

The Kangaroos ran in a further three tries to leave a scoreboard which hardly did England justice, the home side much better than the 30-point margin indicated having deservedly led 16-14 ten minutes into the second half.

As anticipated the match got off to a rugged start with Adrian Morley doing his best to knock Ben Hannant back to Sydney with the first tackle to send the already fever-pitch 31,042 crowd into a frenzy.

The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges but it was Australia who looked like they had scored when Brett Morris went over in the corner, only for the video referee to rule he had lost the ball thanks to a brilliant Shaun Briscoe covering tackle.

If England were rattled they weren't showing it, especially not Sam Burgess who gave NRL fans a taste of things to come with a barnstorming 40 metre run that made a fool of Slater and produced a 6-0 lead to the home side.

Now it was Australia who were rattled, and Burgess again created havoc only to ignore support runners for what looked a probable try.

Instead a Johnathan Thurston intercept sent Greg Inglis galloping upfield, and two plays later Brett Morris, who ironically had been switched to the right wing to give Jarryd Hayne more ball on the left, went over for his fifth try in just four Tests.

England wasted little time in regaining ascendancy when Peter Fox did what no player had been able to do during the back half of the NRL season as he outjumped Hayne to a Kyle Eastmond bomb to make it 10-6 after 19 minutes.

Typifying the contest Australia came back again, a delicate ruck play putting Hayne in space, and in his first meaningful impact of the tournament, the international footballer of the year kicked ahead for Inglis to score, though there were serious doubts over his grounding of the ball.

A Thurston penalty goal extended the advantage to 14-10 at halftime after he was chopped down after kicking ahead, but that man Burgess came back to haunt the visitors again.

After spending the first ten minutes of the half camped on the Australian line, a cross-field running Gareth Ellis found a straight running Burgess who crashed over in front of a boisterous South Stand to put England back in front 16-14.

Having worked so hard to get back in front, England coach Tony Smith would have been devastated with the ease with which they gave it up - Australia up by a converted try before the hour after a soft dummy half dive over from Slater was backed up by Morris completing his double as he chased down a Thurston kick in the corner.

A serious head injury to England centre Michael Shenton then held up the game for several minutes and took some of the momentum from the game, until a piece of Slater magic sealed the deal with 12 minutes remaining.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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