By Wayne Cousins
Wests Tigers centre Chris Lawrence and prop Keith Galloway have today helped Australia qualify for the Four Nations final. Lawrence and Galloway had solid games in Australia’s 36-20 win over England at Wembley Stadium. Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah, originally named in a 19-man team, was omitted from the interchange bench. Lawrence scored a try in the win.
Wests Tigers Coach Tim Sheens is in charge of the Australian team while new Wests Tigers football manager Bryan Hider is a trainer for the Kangaroos. England were represented by Wests Tigers second-rower Gareth Ellis and lock Chris Heighington. Ellis left the field towards the end of the first half with a back injury and did not return. Heighington scored his second try in consecutive games for England.
England applied plenty of pressure in the opening 10 minutes resulting in a spectacular diving try to right winger Ryan Hall. Australian full-back Billy Slater left the field with a broken right collarbone in trying to shoulder charge Hall. Winger Darius Boyd moved to full-back with second-rower Luke Lewis shifted to the wing. Lewis showed his versatility with a try in the left corner for a 4-4 scoreline after 16 minutes.
Heighington was steamrolled by the sheer power of giant second-rower Tony Williams after going high in a tackle only for Williams to score to give Australia a 10-4 lead. Galloway entered the field in the 35th minute with Australia leading 12-4. Hall scored his second try on half-time to leave Australia leading 12-8 at the break.
Australia got off to a perfect start in the second half with a try to centre Greg Inglis in the 43rd minute after England half-back Rangi Chase was ruled to have raked the ball out of Galloway’s hands 10 metres short of the line. Thurston converted for an 18-8 lead. Williams was placed on report in the 45th minute for a high tackle before England were denied a try after referee Henry Perenara ruled a double movement when replays showed it was a try. It was the turning point in the match.
Australia took advantage of the good fortune when prop Paul Gallen ran onto a great short pass from Cooper Cronk to score for a 22-8 lead. Thurston converted for a 24-8 scoreline after 54 minutes. England got back in the game in the when Brisbane centre Jack Reed leapt high from a Sinfield kick to take the ball to race 15 metres to score. Sinfield converted for a 24-14 scoreline after 60 minutes.
Boyd secured victory for Australia in the 72nd minute after Thurston took an intercept pass from Chase to race downfield. On the next tackle, Boyd scored for a 28-14 lead. Thurston converted the try for a 30-14 lead.
Heighington scored his second try for England when he dived over in the 76th minute after a good pass by Tomkins. Sinfield converted the try for a 30-20 scoreline. Lawrence scored his fourth try for Australia when he ran off a pass from Cronk in the 78th minute. Thurston converted the try for a 36-20 scoreline.
Earlier, Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall and forward Adam Blair starred for New Zealand in their 36-0 win over Wales. England must now beat New Zealand in Hull next Sunday to play Australia in the final. Australia will play Wales where it is likely Farah will get his first game of the tournament.
i think everybody helped a little.