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Lockyer leads Australia to another triumph

Australia’s captain and talisman Darren Lockyer concluded an impressive career in rugby league with a satisfying 8-30 win over England in the Four Nations final at Elland Road.

Australia had been hot favourites to win the match, but England clung on to a little hope for a large part of the match. Determination and luck kept them close until the final stages, when Australian superiority was eventually reflected on the scoreboard.

Lockyer has played in 59 Tests, and marked the final one with a simple try to increase Australia’s lead. Although he made a mess of the conversion attempt, he could afford a laugh, especially when the Yorkshire crowd gave him a standing ovation, despite his pivotal role in defeating England.

"It was a tough win,” he said. “Winning those games gives you a pretty good feeling in the dressing room. It's just nice to go on the 24-hour flight home with a win under your belt. It's a relief, and a lot of satisfaction as well."

It was a familiar storyline for England, who usually find Australia too strong when it matters. They could take some pride in keeping the scores level until 23 minutes from the end, but it’s apparent that the team needs strengthening over the next two years, in preparation for the World Cup in 2013.

Australia, under Lockyer’s leadership, always had the extra gear to secure the match. They will have a problem replacing him, but England would he happy to find a player even close to his level.

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