- Rugby League
November 9, 2014
England are out of the Four Nations after losing a thrilling semi-final against New Zealand in Dunedin.
England had a slim chance of reaching the final despite the 16-14 defeat, but Australia’s comprehensive victory over Samoa ruled out any chance of progressing to the final.
Steve McNamara, the England coach, said the campaign has provided valuable experience for his young team, despite the disappointment of failing to reach a major final for the second time in a year.
“For a young team we’ve learned some tough and harsh lessons from the [World Cup] semi-final last season and the last couple of games,” he said.
“So many players have made debuts on this tour and I think that’s the really exciting thing for English rugby league: we’ve got a really good team that’s only going to get better.”
Two tries from England’s Ryan Hall were not enough against New Zealand, as a double from Jason Nightingale and a second-half try from Manu Vatuvei saw the hosts race into an ultimately unassailable lead.
England needed Samoa to beat Australia by fewer than eight points if they were to progress but a 44-18 for the Green and Golds ensured elimination for McNamara’s men.
Two tries each for Australia’s Greg Inglis and Cooper Cronk helped put a physical Samoa side to the sword Wollongong.