As it happened: Kangaroos claim Rugby League World Cup over England as early try proves the difference in gritty final

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of tonight's Rugby League World Cup final between the Kangaroos and England at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.


Aussie wins it. One try the difference and what a game it was. Some absolute head scratchers late from England but it'll go down as one of the great finals this competition has seen. Cam Smith caps of a stellar year with yet another team led to glory. The England players are collapsed in tears and you can't blame them. That'll do it for us from Brisbane. 

79min: AUS 6-0 ENG

WHY?! Gale grubbers on the SECOND TACKLE and Slater is all over it. Why why why waste three chances to find a hole this late with that territory? Aussies grind out one last set and kick it to England's 10m. 60s left. What can England do?

78min: AUS 6-0 ENG

ONE. LAST. CHANCE. Australia knock it on on their 40m so England have a scrum coming up. Two minutes left. Can they force overtime?!

77min: AUS 6-0 ENG

Three to go. England's set starts on their 10m after Cronk's grubber comes up short on the last tackle. Gale goes to the air on the last but Slater brings it in on his 30m.

74min: AUS 6-0 ENG

England get a penalty as Australia commit a two man strip. It's massive since Australia has dominated the last few minutes. England's set starts on the Kangaroos' 40m. Two hit ups gets them 10m. They go to Tom Burgess again and he's knocked it on again! Horror night for him - or these last 10 minutes anyway. Just another chance gone begging for his team.

71min: AUS 6-0 ENG

England have another massive chance now as Holmes attempts an intercept but goes to ground. England scrum on the Aussie 30m but Tom Burgess knocks it on in the first tackle! How painful! Kangaroos defence survives again.

70min: AUS 6-0 ENG

England goes 72m on the set, their largest of the night, to get to Australia's 10m. They go to Gale on the last. He grubbers, Slater appears from nowhere to wrap it up and stay in field. Aussie with a slower set and Cronk finds touch on the last. Both teams are slowly making their way for a scrum. Everyone's exhausted. It's been a brilliant final. 10 to go, who has the extra juice in the tank?

68min: AUS 6-0 ENG

Australia survive again! Widdop has it on the last and he opts for a skip pass and it misses everyone and sails into touch. Another chance goes begging and you wonder how many more England may get. Aussie scrum on their 10m to restart things.

65min: AUS 6-0 ENG

AUS DROPOUT! WHAT A FEW MINUTES OF PLAY! Dugan gets a try-saving ankle tap as McGillvary makes a linebreak. England try to recycle quickly but it's absolute chaos - the kind of footy you see from kids on the final play at lunch. The ball goes to the left wing, it comes all the way back, it goes to ground, scooped up, Whitehead grubers, it bounces of Australia, still the final tackle, Widdop grubbers and Holmes is wrapped up in goal! Crazy play and everything you love about a final. Another set for England coming up.

62min: AUS 6-0 ENG

Widdop grubbers on the last, it's a beauty but Dugan gets to it and somehow weaves his way into the playing field. How on earth did he get back in? England defence is fired up for the set so Smith has enough and thumps it away on the third tackle. England will restart from their 20m.

59min: AUS 6-0 ENG

England make their 8th error of the match and it's a knock on inside the Aussie 10m. But Holmes gives one right back and England have another chance. Can they figure out a way to crack this defence? English Scrum 35m out in the middle of the field. 20 min to go.

56min: AUS 6-0 ENG

England kick but it's a poor one and the Aussies wrap it up easy enough. They go the length of the field but Dugan can't hold onto it on the fourth tackle. England scrum on their 20m. You really feel unless England change something in their attack, nothing is really going to change in this match.

54min: AUS 6-0 ENG

England with their first chance of the match here after getting a penalty inside the Aussie 10m. It's a chaotic final tackle for England after they look to attack on the left wing. It comes back infield, there's a kick, a deflection, the Aussies dive for it, a knock on, another dive and an offside penalty. England will opt for a tap. Can they finally strike here?

51min: AUS 6-0 ENG

ENG DROPOUT! England know what this can lead to. Cronk floats another perfectly weighted ball that stays just inside the field of play. McGillvary takes it but the Kangaroos meet him as he touches the ground and shove him into his in goal. Big set coming up.

48min: AUS 6-0 ENG

AUS NO TRY! Australia not only shut down England, but then go the length of the field in two tackles before Morgan suddenly goes over the chalk and looks to have scored! But the TMO comes in and says Smith obstructed an English tackler so it's a penalty. England kick for touch and will start their set on their 40m.

45min: AUS 6-0 ENG

Aussie look sure to score with numbers to the left by McGillvary breaks the line with a perfect read and gets an intercept metres from his own tryline! He's finally brought down on halfway. Could this be England's spark?

42min: AUS 6-0 ENG

From zero to hero! Cronk floats a beauty that Slater soars to contest and somehow Widdop pulls it in and keeps hold of it as he hits the ground hard.

40min: AUS 6-0 ENG

We're back underway and England are immediately under pressure. Aussies complete their set and go high on the last. Widdop is there and he drops it cold. MASSIVE start to the second half. Kangaroos scrum on the English 10m. Big moment coming up in the match and there's only 60s of the half on the clock!


Cronk tries a drop goal on the final play of the half but it's charged down! The hooter goes and they're off to the sheds. Very competitive first half and what's keeping England in it is an exceptional kicking game. Gale's pinpoint accuracy combined with a superb chasing unit is shutting down Australia's back three from starting any big sets. They need to find an offence to match that effort though as right now they aren't making good on their limited chances and against the Kangaroos, you really need to. We'll be back in 20 for the second half!

38min: AUS 6-0 ENG

Dugan flies high on the last to take Cronk's lofted kick but he knocks it on in the process. He was 5m from the England line when he did it so it's a scrum for England on their 10m.

36min: AUS 6-0 ENG

England fail to execute AGAIN! They get a new set on a penalty late in the set that gets them down to the Kangaroos' 20m. But they try to go wide to the left and it goes to ground. Poor pass, poor choice. Aussie survive and it's a scrum on their 10m. Big final few minutes coming up.

34min: AUS 6-0 ENG

Smith goes inches short of a 40/20 with a clever kick on the last. England have no one there but the ball rolls side ways instead of forwards and it's less than half a metre short from going inside the English 20m. Smith is annoyed with himself but it's still good territory. England scrum just outside their 20m coming up.

31min: AUS 6-0 ENG

Smith dabs one through himself on the last but Widdop is there to pick it up. English defence continues to hold on. But the offence looks lost. The ball goes to ground and suddenly it's schoolyard footy with lateral runs galore. The set ends with a kick that finds touch. Update on Burgess - dislocated finger.

28min: AUS 6-0 ENG

Aussies are just faster at the play-the-ball and it's getting them big metres. Smith is conducting this team at his usual excellence and while the English defence is holding, it's resulting in them having no territory in this match so far besides their one blown opportunity. Something has to change. Burgess has gone off with an issue so that's not going to help the issue either.

25min: AUS 6-0 ENG

Cronk grubbers for touch and gets it and everyone is happy for the breather. It's a humid night in Brisbane and there's been a lot of action. Lots of big gulps on the field. England will restart things with a scrum on their 20m.

23min: AUS 6-0 ENG

England look to strike down the right line and McGillvery finds some space but he's wrapped up. England still struggling to make good metres in their sets but the kicks on the last have saved them.

20min: AUS 6-0 ENG

The Kangaroos defence denies England! They go wide to the left early in the set and send Hall flying into touch. He tries to offload back into the field 5m from the tryline but the only support there is bundled into touch with him as soon as the ball is scooped up. Missed opportunity for England. Aussie scrum on their own 10m.

19min: AUS 6-0 ENG

BIG chance for England coming up. Aussie knock the ball on on their 20m so England get a scrum. 

18min: AUS 6-0 ENG

England respond well after the conceded try. Aussies look to score again but it's scooped up cleanly by Hall. They go 53m on the set and the kick pins Gagai inside the 10m.

15min: AUS 6-0 ENG

AUS TRY! Cordner is in. The back-to-back sets finally pay dividends and it's a simple draw down the line until Cordner gets the missmatch and plows over for four. Smith gets the extras over the black dot.

13min: AUS 0-0 ENG

ENG DROPOUT! Back to back dropouts as Cronk floats one up once more. England secure it but can't escape their in goal. Another defensive set coming up and this Aussie outfit is starting to pick up steam.

11min: AUS 0-0 ENG

ENG DROPOUT! First goalline dropout of the game and it's thanks to a brain explosion from Watkins. Cronk's kick on the last is short and Watkins is the only one to contest but he pads it back to no one and England are fotced to put the ball down. Finals pressure, maybe?

10min: AUS 0-0 ENG

And here's our first scuffle of the night! Cam Smith is taken high and the Kangaroos come flying in to back their skipper up. England respond and it takes a minute to break up. Josh McGuire is put on notice for being the first to retaliate. Aus penalty gives them a new set 20m out. Big set coming up here.

9min: AUS 0-0 ENG

England survive as Widdop scoops up the grubber on the last. They only make 21m on the following set but Gale sends a thumping kick down field on the last. Perfectly weighted and Gagai is forced to try and run it out and only gets 5m back into field.

7min: AUS 0-0 ENG

There's the first error of the night and it's England who make it. Dropped cold on the AUS 40m so that'll be a scrum and good starting point for an Aussie attack. Can the Kangaroos make an eary chance here?

4min: AUS 0-0 ENG

Both teams just feeling each other out at the moment. Nothing fancy, just good, hard hit ups finished with territory-gaining kicks. Aussie look to be making easier metres early though.

2min: AUS 0-0 ENG

First sets for both sides out of the way and James Graham already looking worse for wear. Took the first run up after kick off and met a wall of green. Was very slow to get up. No errors though and both teams' kicks pin the fullbacks inside the 10m.


The anthems are done. She's a stunning night in Brizzy. Aussie gets us going. The Final is underway!


England's hopes of upsetting the Kangaroos in tonight's Rugby League World Cup final have been dealt a huge blow after skipper Sean O'Loughlin ruled himself out with a quadricep injury.

Sam Burgess takes over as skipper in a middle-forward role at Suncorp Stadium, with Ben Currie starting on the edge and utility Jonny Lomax added to the bench.

O'Loughlin is the second key player coach Wayne Bennett has lost in a week, following star hooker Josh Hodgson's torn ACL in their semi-final win over Tonga.

Burgess, who led England in last year's Four Nations tournament, said it was bittersweet to be handed the reins in the circumstances but declared his team had "an unbelievable opportunity to do something special".

"It's unfortunate for Sean. He's been a huge part of our success this campaign (and) over the last 12 months as well," Burgess said.

"Obviously it's a huge loss, I'm really disappointed for Sean and Josh. Not many people are talking about Josh as well.

"What he's brought to the England side over the past 3-4 years has been fantastic. We'll lose two senior boys, great players."

Burgess said he enjoyed the responsibility of leading his country.

"It's a job I don't take lightly. I love being in this position. I don't think it gets much better than World Cup final as well. It'll be a special moment," he said.

"Sean's been the captain the whole tournament and to take the captaincy in this situation can be bittersweet but when the time comes tomorrow, all those feelings will be gone."

The international tournament is Burgess' third in four years, including his mixed stint for England in the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup.

He was also part of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, when England were knocked out in the semi-finals stage by New Zealand.

"We got out of the group stages (this time), which does help. The 2013 World Cup was pretty tough losing in the semis. We've come a step further this time. I think we deserve to be here," he said.

"Now we're here, we've got an unbelievable opportunity as a group to do something special.

"What we've already created is fantastic but we're still one job off doing what we came here to do."


AUS: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Dane Gagai, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Josh Dugan, 5 Valentine Holmes, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Cameron Smith, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Matt Gillett, 13 Josh McGuire

AUS Interchange: 14 Wade Graham, 15 Jordan McLean, 16 Reagan Cambell-Gillard, 17 Tyson Frizell

ENG: 1. Gareth Widdop 2. Jermaine McGillvary 3. Kallum Watkins 4. John Bateman 5. Ryan Hall 6. Kevin Brown 7. Luke Gale 8. Chris Hill 9. James Roby 10. James Graham 16. Ben Currie 12. Elliot Whitehead 11. Sam Burgess

ENG Interchange: 14. Alex Walmsley 15. Thomas Burgess 17. Chris Heighington 18. Jonny Lomax