- Four Nations
Kangaroos too good for England
Darren Lockyer bowed out on a high as Australia reclaimed the Four Nations crown with a 30-8 victory over England at Elland Road.
England battled valiantly for the best part of an hour, but the Kangaroos proved too strong as they streaked away to victory with Lockyer, playing in his final match for Australia, claiming the last of four second-half tries.
Australia, who last won the tournament in 2009, got off to a flying start as Sam Thaiday went over after just five minutes, and Johnathan Thurston, who passed a late fitness test, added the extras.
England kept themselves in the contest, and were rewarded for a period of sustained pressure with a penalty try. Kevin Sinfield released Ryan Hall, who appeared to drop the ball after being clattered by Thurston, but the video referee awarded the try to England for a high tackle by Thurston.
Australia edged ahead once again when man-of-the-match Thurston kicked a penalty after Gareth Ellis was caught offside as Australia went into the break 8-6 ahead. But England started the second half brightly, and Sinfield kicked the hosts level after Australia were penalised for a poor tackle, but from then on it was all one way traffic.
Jharal Yow Yeh went over in the corner as the Australians took the lead for a third time in the 57th minute, and his try opened the floodgates as Thurston followed three minutes later. Greg Inglis's dummy left the England defence flat-footed as a rampant Australia began to turn the screw.
And Kangaroos skipper Lockyer, who hangs up his boots after 13 years in a green and gold shirt, scripted a fairytale ending even the home fans would not have begrudged him. Lockyer's chip kick bounced off a post and back into his hands as he dived over to mark his final appearance with a try. The 34-year-old took the conversion, but sliced it wide of a post with the final kick of the game.
"I would like to congratulate England, they have been terrific," Lockyer said, addressing the stadium after the match. "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."