England book Tonga semi with PNG win

England advanced to their fourth successive Rugby League World Cup semi-final after outclassing Papua New Guinea 36-6 in Melbourne.

Wayne Bennett's England were the superior outfit but far from fluid in warm conditions at AAMI Park on Sunday, scoring seven tries to one as they earned a final-four showdown with Tonga.

Fiji caused a monumental upset in Wellington, upstaging 2013 runner-up New Zealand to reach the semis, but Papua New Guinea's hopes of completing a shock of their own were dashed early in sunny Melbourne.

A try-saving tackle from captain David Mead saw the Brisbane Broncos full-back knocked out after copping a shoulder to the head while stopping Luke Gale.

Papua New Guinea managed to hold England but they could not prevent Jermaine McGillvary from crossing over in the 12th minute.

McGillvary was in the thick of the action again six minutes later, bagging a double following a fantastic flick pass from Kallum Watkins, though skipper Gareth Widdop missed his second conversion of the game as England only led 8-0.

Widdop made no mistake eight minutes before half-time to make it 14-0 after Alex Walmsley forced his way over from close range.

Papua New Guinea fans were up and celebrating on the stroke of half-time when Kato Ottio thought he scored in the corner but it was called back for a push on Widdop.

Ben Currie added a fourth try with 23 minutes remaining as England moved 20 points clear, though PNG had a moment to savour on the hour-mark when cult hero Garry Lo powered over in the corner.

England finished with a flurry after Papua New Guinea had a try overturned for obstruction, Watkins scoring twice in three minutes, while Ryan Hall completed the quarter-final victory two minutes from time.

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