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Meninga delighted by ruthless Kangaroos

AAP logoAAP 13/11/2016 Ian McCullough

Australia coach Mal Meninga hailed his side's second-half display against England as the Kangaroos maintained their 100 per cent record ahead of next week's final at Anfield against New Zealand.

Leading 10-6 at the interval, Meninga's side scored five second-half tried to win 38-16 and end the hosts nation's final aspirations.

"I was very happy at halftime and full marks to England who I thought played extremely well and we had to to match them," Meninga said.

"I thought our second half effort was outstanding. We put the ball in the right places and at one stage we went 11 (sets) from 11 and put a lot of pressure on the English side in defence."

Australia are the overwhelming favourites to beat a Kiwi side who were held to a draw by Scotland on Friday, however, Meninga said they are too dangerous and talented to take lightly.

"There are going to be favourites and underdogs and we have to get out there and perform," Meninga said.

"There are a few things we need to look at that we need to work on. The Kiwis would have seen a few things on our edges defensively that we need to improve.

"They'll feel they're lucky to be in the final and that this will be their second chance, and no doubt they will come well prepared."

Meninga brushed aside an incident late in the game where prop David Klemmer required patching up after being caught with a punch by Sam Burgess following a melee in the wake of Matt Gillett's try.

"He's fine, he loved it, it's Test match footy," he said.

"He had a smile on his face, that's all good from our point of view.

"We don't expect it. But it's two teams going at each other. It was a very physical game all competitive and that is what happens sometimes."

Meninga said aside from Sam Thaiday, who suffered a fractured eye socket that will end his tournament involvement, he'll stick with the same squad of players for the final next Sunday (0130 AEDT).

Cooper Cronk, rested for the win over the Kiwis in Coventry, showed his worth to the team with a sparkling performance that earned him the man of the match award.

Skipper Cameron Smith said it was one of the best performances he'd seen from his long-time Melbourne and Queensland teammate.

"He was very good, he played a very professional game today which is what we are all accustomed to," Smith said.

"He took a lot of good options, ran the football a fair bit and asked a few questions of their defence.

"He's a champion of our game and champions of our game play well in the big matches and it was no difference today."

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