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Summary

  1. England led 20-0 with seven minutes remaining
  2. FT: Tonga 18-20 England
  3. England: Tries: McGillvary, Widdop, Bateman Goals: Widdop (4)
  4. Tonga: Tries: Junior, Havili, Lolohea Goals: Taukeiaho (3)
  5. England in first World Cup final since 1995
  6. You can watch the final live on BBC One - 2 December, KO 09:00 GMT

Live Reporting

By Phil Cartwright

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodbye - and see you in the final...

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    England celebrate

    Thanks for your company today. It was dramatic - in truth, probably too dramatic for 7am on a Saturday morning!

    But drink it in, England fans - your country is through to a World Cup final.

    We'll have more reaction on the BBC Sport website and app later today, and plenty of build-up throughout the week as England prepare for Saturday's final against Australia - which you can watch live on BBC One.

    Bye for now.

  2. What will Australia bring?

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    Jon Wilkin

    Former England international on BBC One

    All the evidence has been that England are excellent defensively - and Australia will pinpoint that.

    Every country produces good athletes - but you can see Australia are intelligent and think quickly.

    Players like Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Michael Morgan are so smart. For me, it will be about making sure England are competing with that.

  3. Elementary for Holmes

    Semi-final result: Australia 54-6 Fiji

    So to next week - England's victory today means they will face Australia in the 2017 World Cup final on Saturday, 2 December (09:00 GMT).

    The Kangaroos blew Fiji away in their semi-final on Friday - with Valentine Holmes scoring six - yes SIX - tries.

    Video content

    Video caption: Australia 54-6 Fiji highlights
  4. Post update

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    These are just some of the images of Tonga players after their semi-final defeat in Auckland.

    Incredible scenes.

    Tonga players
    Tonga players
    Tonga players
  5. Watch highlights of Tonga v England

    Tonga v England (05:00 GMT)

    BBC One

    If you can bear those final seven minutes again, there will be extended highlights of England's win in the second World Cup semi-final on BBC One at 13:15 GMT.

  6. Watch: England survive scare to reach World Cup final

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    Click on the play button below to watch the best bits of England's semi-final win over Tonga...

    Video content

    Video caption: Tonga 18-20 England highlights
  7. England's defence won them the game

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    Justin Holbrook

    St Helens head coach on BBC One

    I'm happy for the fans that Tonga finished like that.

    I'm happy with no try on the big decision, but it is a brave decision from the ref. He had every right to go upstairs - I can't believe that he didn't.

    I think it was still a great performance from England. We said from the word go that England couldn't go into their shells, and they were excellent defensively. Their scramble defence won them the game - they easily could have conceded six tries in the first half if they hadn't scrambled well.

    When you're playing against a team with that kind of momentum - you can feel helpless. You just have to scramble.

  8. Get Involved

    #bbcrl

    Michael Heal: Unfortunate for Tonga who have lit up this tournament. We've rode our luck but Brisbane here we come!

  9. 'I think we have started something'

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    Tonga national anthem

    More from Tonga coach Kristian Woolf: "England certainly deserve some credit, they defended extremely well for long periods but I thought we did enough to win that game but our execution was a little of when it counted.

    "Not a lot went our way but I could not be any prouder of a group of men - the way they hung in and kept trying.

    "But I think we have started something that really takes Tonga forward both as a team and as a nation."

  10. 'How do we not go back and look at that last play?'

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    Tonga's Andrew Fifita almost crossed for a match-clinching try in the final seconds but lost the ball in a tackle with Elliott Whitehead.

    Referee Matt Cecchin deemed it to be a loose carry, but should England have been penalised?

    Tonga coach Kristian Woolf: "I would have thought in those circumstances, there is no way you don't have a look at what happened at the end.

    "I don't know if we were robbed, I just cannot believe we don't have a look at that. You look at other tries 10-12 times and you don't look at that?

    "How do we not go back and look at that last play?

    "For very long periods we were on top of that game but a little ill-disciplined when we needed to be better.

    "England did a terrific job with their fifth play, they really suffocated us.

    "For whatever reason the sorts of opportunities we have taken in past games we weren't able to take."

  11. Get Involved

    #bbcrl

    Billy Corfield: I've watched some scintillating finishes as a Saints fan but my heart was bouncing out of my chest then. Amazing occasion well done to both teams.

    Louise Goodall: Heart in my mouth last 5 mins! Couldn't breathe during last set of 6! Re-run nightmares of NZ in 2013!!

  12. England exceptional defensively

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    Jon Wilkin

    Former England international on BBC One

    England were exceptional for long spells and we saw that again defensively today. I think the team with the second-best defence should be in the final. There's not many teams who would be able to see Tonga off like England did today.

    For 60 minutes, they were quite clinical with the ball - but they'll face something different against Australia. There were a few moments that, had they gone the other way, could have changed the outcome.

  13. 'What a game, what a contest'

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    Matt Newsum

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator

    Absolutely gone. Out of voice, heart racing. What a game. What a contest. England, finally, just, make it to the big dance.

    The intensity ramps up again next week - Australia in Brisbane. But at least we're there.

    And remember you'll be able to follow the World Cup final on BBC television, radio and online next Saturday.

  14. Post update

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    England prop James Graham: "I've played in some massive games and hostile atmospheres, but nothing like this before.

    "On reflection, sport can be so cruel. You feel for the players in the opposition. It was a great game and they gave everything. What a game to be a part of.

    "When John Bateman went over, we probably thought we were done. We probably switched off and you can't give players of that class an opportunity because they'll get themselves back in the game."

  15. England faced an avalanche at times

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    Jon Wilkin

    Former England international on BBC One

    I thought Tuimoala Lolohea was incredible with the ball at times. Tonga had no momentum and then that changed in a second. It was an avalanche as they flew towards England and got excited.

    But the way Tonga conducted themselves demonstrated the future of Rugby League. The passion of the fans - they showed us their heritage and culture today.

    Tonga players and fans
  16. 'Nail-biting'

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    England assistant coach Denis Betts: "It was a nail-biting two minutes at the end.

    "We were 20 points up and in cruise control and then they got it rolling, they dragged some energy from somewhere, from the crowd, and made a real fist of it.

    "Everything we had talked about came to fruition - we knew we needed to be patient and take energy out of them, we completed every set for the first 20 minutes and scored some points.

    "But their try gave them a spark - we did not respond to that and they did. The atmosphere fired them up. Fatigue played a real big part for us in the last 10 minutes."

  17. Get Involved

    #bbcrl

    Rich Walker: Imagine if that last ‘disallowed try’ would have happened to us...Tonga brilliant in defeat, fans and players.

    Seconded - Tonga have been a credit to their country and this World Cup.

    Andrew Fifita
  18. Post update

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    But England just about held on to reach the World Cup final for the first time in 22 years.

    Never in doubt - he says with tongue firmly in cheek...

  19. Watch: Tonga almost break English hearts

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    And then, amazingly, Tonga had a chance to win it...

    Video content

    Video caption: Tonga almost break English hearts
  20. Watch: Tuimoala Lolohea brings Tonga within two points

    FT: Tonga 18-20 England

    Then Tonga got the ball back from the kick-off and scored again to get it back to 20-18...

    Video content

    Video caption: Tuimoala Lolohea brings Tonga within two points