THE Downer World Cup Nines campaign ended at the semi-final stage for England's men and their three Warrington Wolves stars.

Daryl Clark, Blake Austin and Gareth Widdop were all in Wayne Bennett's starting team as they were beaten in the last four by New Zealand.

Austin kicked a conversion for Jermaine McGillvary's try, which was England's only score in their 22-6 loss.

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No way through for Blake Austin against the Kiwis. Picture:

Earlier on, Austin scored a try as England had to survive a scare to get out of the pool stage.

The Wire star touched down as England beat France 38-4 and top Pool B.

Leeds winger Ash Handley scored twice, with further scores from Ryan Hall, Ryan Sutton and Elliot Whitehead.

They were done a favour by Wales as they picked up an impressive win over Lebanon, who had earlier stunned the men in white to leave them in danger of a shock exit.

Widdop - The Wire's marquee signing - touched down for England in an eventual 16-13 defeat to the Cedars.

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Warrington and England 9s hooker Daryl Clark. Picture:

Lebanon, following their 12-8 win against France on Friday, started fast and dominated possession to assemble a 16-6 first-half lead against England and then managed to hang on when Wayne Bennett's side chased the game in the second period.

The lead changed hands three times in the first half.

Forward Bilal Marbani scored his third try of the 9s to put the Cedars in front.

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England try scorer Gareth Widdop. Picture:

Widdop hared through a hole from new clubmate Daryl Clark's dummy-half pass to open England's account with his first try of the tournament and converted it for a 6-4 lead.


Two scores from Travis Robinson though put Lebanon in control.

A Sam Tompkins five-point try early in the second half reduced Lebanon's lead to 16-13 but that was as good as it got for England.

The absence of Wolves' Blake Austin was one of three changes made by coach Wayne Bennett, who also left out James Graham and Jermaine McGillvary.

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Daryl Clark and Elliot Whitehead try to keep Lebanon out. Picture:

Meanwhile, England Women have fallen short in their quest to reach the semi finals.

Their must-win game against New Zealand ended in a 33-4 defeat, with Warrington-born pair Emily Rudge and Jodie Cunningham both starting what was their second defeat of the day.

Cunningham started the 42-4 hammering at the hands of Australia, while Rudge came off the bench.



DARYL Clark scored England's first try of the Downer World Cup 9s as they thrashed Wales in their opening game.

The Wire hooker crossed in the second minute at Bankwest Stadium as Wayne Bennett's side recorded a 25-4 victory.

Clark was joined in the starting line-up by future Warrington teammate Gareth Widdop, who coverted two tries, while Blake Austin came off the bench.

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Blake Austin in action against Wales. Picture by

Watch Clark's try here

Hull FC's Jake Connor scored twice, with further tries coming from Sam Tomkins and Jermaine McGillvary against a Welsh side that included former Wire players Rhys and Ben Evans and Rhys Williams.

Incoming Wire signing Anthony Gelling also joined the party, scoring a try for Cook Islands as they stunned Tonga 30-7.

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Anthony Gelling takes on the Tonga defence. Picture by

Meanwhile, Warrington-born Emily Rudge was a try-scorer for England Women as they beat Papua New Guinea in their opening game.

The former Cardinal Newman High School pupil skippered her side to a 25-4 win, while fellow Warringtonian Jodie Cunningham set up one of Rhiannon Marshall's two tries.

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Emily Rudge scores against Papua New Guinea. Pictures by