Melbourne. Australia beat England 34-14 on Sunday to qualify for the final of the Four Nations rugby league tournament against New Zealand.
Luke Lewis scored two tries for Australia, his first coming in the fifth minute, and the win gave Australia a 2-0 record and a spot in the Nov. 13 final in Brisbane against New Zealand, which is also unbeaten after two games.
England and Papua New Guinea are both winless after two matches. New Zealand and Australia will play for first place in the tournament standings next Saturday in Auckland as part of a doubleheader that also includes the Papua New Guinea-England match.
Three of Australia’s tries came directly from errors after England had taken an 8-6 lead after 15 minutes. But any hope of an upset evaporated in 13 minutes as the home side ran in four tries for a 26-8 halftime lead.
On Saturday, New Zealand annihilated Papua New Guinea in their clash in Rotorua, scoring 14 tries in a runaway 76-12 victory.
In the process, the Kiwis fired a warning to Australia that the Kangaroos’ pretournament favorite tag with the bookmakers may have been premature.
By halftime, New Zealand had scored eight tries and had 46 unanswered points on the board, four more than Australia could manage in the whole game when it beat Papua New Guinea 42-0 the previous week.
New Zealand ran in a further six tries in the second half as it enjoyed 61 percent of the possession and benefitted from 60 missed tackles by Papua New Guinea.
The result gave New Zealand its second win from two matches after it beat England 24-10 in the first round.