England's Jermaine McGillvary is tackled by Australia's Greg Inglis, left, and Blake Ferguson during their Four Nations rugby league match at London Stadium.
England's Jermaine McGillvary is tackled by Australia's Greg Inglis, left, and Blake Ferguson during their Four Nations rugby league match at London Stadium. Nigel French

Kangaroos won't take Kiwis lightly in final

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Kangaroos have firmed in favouritism for the Four Nations final against New Zealand after a dominant display against England yesterday.

Leading 10-6 at the interval, Mal Meninga's side scored five second-half tried to win 38-16 and end England's hopes for a final berth.

"Full marks to England who I thought played extremely well and we had to to match them,” Meninga said.

"I thought our second-half effort was outstanding. We put the ball in the right places and at one stage we went 11 (sets) from 11 and put a lot of pressure on the English side in defence.”

Despite the Kiwis' draw with Scotland on Friday, Meninga said New Zealand was too dangerous and talented to take lightly.

"There are going to be favourites and underdogs and we have to get out there and perform,” Meninga said.

"There are a few things we need to look at that we need to work on. The Kiwis would have seen a few things on our edges defensively that we need to improve.

"They'll feel they're lucky to be in the final and that this will be their second chance, and no doubt they will come well prepared.”

Meninga brushed aside an incident late in the game where prop David Klemmer required patching up after being punched by Sam Burgess in a melee after Matt Gillett's try.

"He's fine, he loved it. It's Test match footy,” Meninga said of Klemmer. "He had a smile on his face, that's all good from our point of view.

"We don't expect it. But it's two teams going at each other. It was a very physical game all competitive and that is what happens sometimes.”

England's Mark Percival is tackled by Australia's Josh Dugan during their Four Nations rugby league match at London Stadium.
England's Mark Percival is tackled by Australia's Josh Dugan during their Four Nations rugby league match at London Stadium. Nigel French

Meninga said aside from Sam Thaiday, who suffered a fractured eye socket, he would keep the same squad for next Sunday's final (12.30am AEST).

Skipper Cameron Smith praised his Melbourne teammate Cooper Cronk, who was man of the match.

"He was very good, he played a very professional game today which is what we are all accustomed to,” Smith said.

"He took a lot of good options, ran the football a fair bit and asked a few questions of their defence.

"He's a champion of our game and champions of our game play well in the big matches and it was no difference today.”



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