England 36-6 PNG: England progress to World Cup semis
By Ben Proe
Last Updated: 19/11/17 12:02pm
England record a 36-6 victory over Papua New Guinea in Melbourne to move into the World Cup semi-finals where they will face Tonga.
The Kumuls lost skipper David Mead inside 60 seconds following a clash with Luke Gale, before England took control through a quick-fire Jermaine McGillvary double either side of the quarter-hour mark - Kallum Watkins supplying the Huddersfield winger's 11th try in 10 internationals with a sensational flick.
With Gareth Widdop unable to add either conversion, England led 8-0 with eight first-half minutes left - but extended their half-time advantage to 14 points when the impressive Alex Walmsley crashed over for his first England touchdown, Kevin Brown now off the field having received an ugly elbow from Watson Boas on the floor.
Michael Marum's men were unlucky to have a Kato Ottio effort ruled out by video referee Steve Chiddy for a push on Widdop - and instead, England were clinical in extending their margin to 20 points inside 15 second-half minutes, going the length of the field in two tackles through Ryan Hall and John Bateman, before a slide-rule Widdop kick supplied Ben Currie's second in three games.
On the hour, Castleford new boy Garry Lo continued his impressive tournament to get the Kumuls on the board - but Wayne Bennett's side underlined their dominance with 10 to go, courtesy of a three-minute double from Watkins - McGillvary repaying the compliment with both assists.
Leeds team-mate Ryan Hall added England's seventh try in the final minute - remarkably his 34th try, on his 35th cap - but Bennett will demand far more ball security as England fly to Auckland in the morning, when Jason Taumalolo's men will be roared on by another Tongan sea of red in Saturday's mouth-watering semi-final.