Four Nations: Steve McNamara unhappy Ryan Hall try not given

Hall 'try' debated: were England robbed?

England coach Steve McNamara was left "very disappointed" after winger Ryan Hall was not awarded a last-minute try against Australia in the Four Nations.

His side suffered a 16-12 loss to the Kangaroos after the video referee failed to give a score despite Hall touching the ball with his fingertips.

"I thought it was a try but we probably need to have a lot closer look at that," McNamara told BBC Sport.

However, Australia coach Tim Sheens felt the "right decision" was made.

"Had it been a try, I think Ryan Hall would have been celebrating but he wasn't," he said.

Imperious Aussies
The Kangaroos avoided losing back-to-back Test matches at home for the first time since 1970
They maintained their chances of reaching every final since 1954

"They all went back for a line drop-out and were not screaming for a try so I think we got the right decision.

"England worked hard to protect their lead, they were strong, very strong in the ruck, so that will be an interesting game between them and New Zealand next week."

England play New Zealand next Saturday knowing that victory by 10 points will guarantee them a place in the final.

McNamara's team almost sealed a final spot on Sunday but after leading 12-4 at the interval, they could not prevent Australia from hitting back in the second period with tries from Ben Hunt and Greg Inglis.

Australia 16-12 England: Inglis scores winning Four Nations try

It left England needing to score a try to guarantee at least a draw - and the contentious moment came in the last minute when video referee Bernard Sutton felt the ball had bounced up on to Hall's fingers, rather than the Leeds man applying downward pressure.

Neither Hall nor his team-mates initially celebrated and with referee Gerard Sutton not giving a try, his brother Bernard would need "sufficient evidence" - according to NRL rulesexternal-link - to overturn his decision.

Sections of the England support inside the ground cheered as replays were shown of the incident.

"You never get excited - you never know what is going to happen," added McNamara. "Ryan said he knew he'd touched the ball but he wasn't 100% sure exactly what the outcome was.

"Maybe he should have got up and celebrated because his finger certainly looked as if it was applying some pressure to the ball whilst the ball was on the ground."

Leeds winger Hall added: "I knew I'd got something on it but I wasn't sure whether I grounded it or not.

"I didn't want to make a big fuss about it because we wanted the ball back at least."

The Kangaroos got the ball from the restart after the no-try decision was made and ran down the clock until the end of the match.

BBC Sport pundit Jon Wilkin's verdict
"You need your star players to do something special and in this game the momentum changed for me with the Australian substitution in the second half - Sam Thaiday went off, Cameron Smith went to loose forward and half-back Ben Hunt came on. Hunt was busy. The Aussie guys will be made up."

McNamara felt his side were on top for much of the game, but suggested ill-discipline from his players contributed to their loss.

He added: "I thought we were the better team for large parts and I thought we were in control for a lot of the game.

"But there was a spell midway through the second half where we let Australia get back in to it with a couple of penalties and a lack of field position in the second half cost us.

"It is a tough defeat to take. We threw a lot at Australia, we came to play and said we would do that, and it was agonisingly close at the end."

While England play the Kiwis next Saturday in a repeat of last year's World Cup semi-final, Australia face Samoa as they look to maintain their record of reaching every tournament final since 1954.