ENGLAND'S hopes of winning the World Cup for the first time in 45 years were dashed despite a gutsy effort against Australia in Brisbane.

The Green and Golds won 6-0 as a result of an 14th minute Boyd Cordner try, but England featuring three Saints in Alex Walmsley, James Roby and Jonny Lomax, threw everything at them.

It was definitely a case of one that got away, as England were on top for large parts of the encounter.

A bit more composure and more clinical execution would have seen the trophy heading to these shores for the first time since 1972.

As it was had Josh Dugan not managed to get back to ankle tap a runaway Kallum Watkins 15 minutes from time then it would have been back in the melting pot.

It was a tough encounter from the off, with former Saints skipper James Graham dishing out and being on the receiving end of some bone-crunching challenges.

The Australians were the first to set out their stall out with Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk being the architects of four sets on the English line.

That wall of white eventually cracked on 15 minutes when Boyd Cordner blasted through Kevin Brown close to the line to touch down.

Smith converted - and that would be the end of the scoring.

But there was no shortage of incident, adventure and excitement with England getting themselves into the game but then paying for a degree of impatience and poor ball control.

Some of it was poor pass selection - like on 22 minutes where England's on-song wing Jermaine McGillvary needed an early pass from Watkins to really exploit the opportunity.

But English heads did not drop - and it was an aggressive response from the pack with Alex Walmsley's late first half stint being particularly explosive on both sides of the ball.

There were further missed chances before the interval and a rush of blood from Luke Gale, whose pass to John Bateman went to ground, showed that impatience.

Once again 80-minute man James Roby produced a sterling effort on both sides of the ball. Excellent at dummy half, he also did his duties dilligently in defence.

And it was the alert Roby's break out of the back of the scrum to foil Cronk's drop goal attempt on the half time hooter.

It looked as though the Roos had doubled their lead on 46 minutes when Michael Morgan skipped through, but the video ref had picked out the obstruction.

From that point onwards England grew a leg against a visibly tiring Green and Gold machine.

It was a massive effort, but lost balls - particularly from Tom Burgess - and a failure to get the rub of the green or the bounce of the ball meant that they could not make it tell on the scoreboard.

Jonny Lomax came on for the last quarter, as Wayne Bennett tried to freshen up the attack, but stil there was no breakthrough.

It was a gripping, but ultimately heart-breaking finale as McGillvary was put through at the end but in desperation he dribbled in hope  with the advancing white shirts getting nowhere near it.

That was it - all over again and once again England hearts were broken.

Australia: Slater, Gagai, Chambers, Dugan, Holmes, Morgan,

Cronk, Woods, Smith, Klemmer, Cordner, Gillett, McGuire.

Subs: Graham, McLean, Campbell-Gillard, Frizell.

England: Widdop, McGillvary, Watkins, Bateman, Hall, Brown,

Gale, Hill, Roby, Graham, Currie, Whitehead, S. Burgess.

Subs: Walmsley, T. Burgess, Heighington, Lomax.