Mal Meninga has prevailed in the battle of the Queensland greats with his Australia side ending the Four Nations rugby league campaign of Wayne Bennett's England with a 36-18 win in London.
The Kangaroos ran in six tries at the London Stadium, ruthlessly running away with the game in the second half after a tightly-contested opening stanza that ended with the tourists leading 10-6 at the break, in front of a crowd of 35,569.
Having already been assured of their spot in next weekend's final at Anfield following Scotland's shock draw over New Zealand on Saturday, Australia had nothing but their pride on the line.
The Kangaroos will now face New Zealand in next Monday morning's (NZ time) final at Anfield.
England needed to avoid defeat to book a place in the decider at the expense of the Kiwis but any hopes of the Meninga's men taking it easy never materialised as they showed their class and professionalism in a polished display.
England drew first blood with an early Gareth Widdop penalty before Johnathan Thurston responded in kind in the 17th minute.
The home crowd were on their feet eight minutes later when livewire winger Jermaine McGillvary finished off a smart move with a fine finish in the right corner.
Widdop failed to add the extras and Australia hit back five minutes before the break when Blake Ferguson hauled in a bullet pass from Darius Boyd, before Thurston bisected the posts from the sideline to give his side an 8-6 advantage.
The Kangaroos were then gifted two points on the siren when Josh Hodgson failed to find touch from a penalty and Sam Burgess's reckless tackle on Aaron Woods allowed Thurston to extend the lead.
The second half was a complete contrast to the first with Greg Inglis scoring the first of five second-half tries six minutes after the restart with Matt Scott and Josh Dugan adding further four-pointers that were converted by Thurston.
Widdop scampered over for the hosts to reduce the deficit to 28-12 but Matt Gillett darted over after a great pass from man of the match Cooper Cronk to end any hopes of an English fightback.
Ryan Hall's 31st try in as many games for his country was a late consolation for England, but Valentine Holmes had the final say with an acrobatic diving effort in the dying minutes to add some extra gloss to the scoreline.
"It was very pleasing to get a win in a tough game, but we have a few things to work on, few things we won't be able to do next week," Australia skipper Cameron Smith said.
"They boys were really up for this game and are looking forward to next week."
England skipper Burgess, who was lucky to stay on the field after cutting the eye of David Klemmer with a well-thrown punch in a late scuffle said bad errors cost his side..
"It was quite disappointing," Burgess said.
"We let ourselves down with crucial errors you can't do at this level.
"We missed touch and that was big momentum swinger. We've not done as well we would have wanted."