A heavyweight England floored world champions New Zealand 20-12 in Huddersfield, knocking the Kiwi's out of the Four nations rugby league tournament and setting up a final with Australia.
Two quickfire tries from Hull KR winger Peter Fox in the closing minutes of the first half proved crucial after Bryson Goodwin had matched Kyle Eastmond's opening score for England.
Ben Matulino ensured the contest remained open by touching down early in the second half but a Kevin Sinfield goal settled England's nerves as their disciplined defensive work was rewarded.
England coach Tony Smith's decision to beef up his pack at the last minute was vindicated as Sinfield, switched to hooker to accommodate the introduction of Sam Burgess, produced a man-of-the-match performance.
England effectively had four props in action with captain Jamie Peacock operating in the second row behind Adrian Morley and James Graham.