Australia dominated both possession and the scoreline as they looked in control of the World Cup Final at half time.
The Kangaroos, who had 63% of the first half possession, opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Johnathan Thurston kicked a penalty goal after Billy Slater had been checked by Kieran Foran.
Shaun Johnson levelled after Australian skipper Cameron Smith had tackled Ellijah Taylor high.
However, the Australians were on top and looked to have scored when Cooper Cronk spectacularly collected Jarryd Hayne kick but was tackled by Isaac Luke, the claim for the try being ruled out by video referee Ashley Klein.
Cronk though was over when Darius Boyd was released on the left, his kick being collected by the half back. Johnathan Thurston converted and then added a further penalty after an obstruction on Slater three before the break.
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