HULL FC winger Tom Briscoe starred on his home ground tonight to help emphatic England defeat world champions New Zealand and reach the Gillette Four Nations final against Australia, writes Dave Craven
He scored his first try of the tournament in the first half as Steve McNamara’s impressive side – needing victory to make next Saturday’s Elland Road decider - dominated the lacklustre Kiwis going 8-0 ahead at the break.
Leeds Rhinos wideman Ryan Hall extended that advantage with a classy one-handed finish in the 44th minute, just like his brace against Australia last week, only for ill-disciplined New Zealand to finally stir with Jason Nightingale’s try just after the hour.
However, any thoughts of the under-par holders making a comeback were dashed when Briscoe robbed Gerard Beale close to his own line and raced 70m.
He was finally brought down by Simon Mannering but James Graham barged over soon after and then the elusive Sam Tomkins finished off the impressive display with a fourth try.
Kevin Sinfield, who won man-of-the-match for his assured display at stand-off, converted all four tries and added two penalties while disappointing New Zealand had Jeremy Smith and Issac Luke both put on report for foul play.
England: Tomkins; Hall, Reed, Yeaman, Briscoe; Sinfield, Chase; Graham, Roby, Peacock, Wilkin, Westwood, Heighington. Substitutes: Widdop, Morley, Buchanan, Carvell.
New Zealand: Locke; Beale, Brown, Mannering, Nightingale; Marshall, Foran; Matulino, Leuluai, Packer, Manu, Blair, Smith. Substitutes: Luke, Glenn, Waerea-Hargreaves, Taylor.
Referee: Matt Cecchin (Australia)