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England advanced to the World Cup semi-finals with a 36-6 win against Papua New Guinea on Sunday afternoon.

Wayne Bennett's side scored seven tries to one and had to work hard against a typically physical Kumuls side who were strong in the opening stanza.

PNG suffered a big blow when they lost David Mead after he was knocked out in the second minute after attempting to tackle England halfback Luke Gale.

Jermaine McGillvary opened England's scoring with tries in the 13th and 20th minutes and maintained his record of crossing in his past nine Tests.

The Kumuls contested their kicks and forced England into errors – they had only completed 50 per cent of their sets mid-way through the contest – but conceded too many errors and penalties of their own to stay in the contest.

Bench forward Alex Walmsley drove through three PNG defenders to post England's third try just before half time.

The atmosphere lifted just after the break with the Papuans surging in defence and tensions starting to flare, but the English stuck at their task and finished with a flurry of points.

Ben Currie collected a well-weighted Gareth Widdop grubber just before the hour mark and Kallum Watkins crossed for a second-half double late in the game.

PNG winger Gary Lo scored his team's only try with twenty minutes to play but by then England had full control over the game.

Ryan Hall managed to keep his impressive Test try-scoring record – now 33 in 36 Tests – going with a four-pointer in the 78th minute.

England will meet Tonga in Auckland next week to play for a spot in the final.

England 36 (McGillvary 2, Watkins 2, Walmsley, Currie, Hall tries; Widdop 4 goals) def Papua New Guinea 6 (Lo try; Martin goal). Half-time: 14-0. Crowd: 10,563.


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