Rugby League World Cup Final: New Zealand 2-34 Australia
Australia produced a clinical performance as they thrashed holders New Zealand to win the Rugby League World Cup at a sold-out Old Trafford.
New Zealand couldn’t tie the Kangaroos down as the rampant Aussies powered into a 16-2 interval lead, made the game safe with their third try just 47 seconds after the break and added two more before the end.
Full-back Billy Slater returned from a knee injury that had threatened to end his participation in the tournament, and scored two tries.
Brett Morris also went over twice, and Cooper Cronk added another, while his half-back partner Johnathan Thurston kicked seven goals in a man-of-the-match performance.
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"It is one of the best team performances I have ever been part of," said Australia captain Cameron Smith, who was sprayed with champagne by his jubilant teammates as he lifted the trophy to the backdrop of fireworks at Old Trafford.
"Five years is a long time to get another opportunity," he added, "but a little bit of that disappointment has been taken away by this win."
This was the heaviest victory in a final, eclipsing Australia’s 40-12 victory over the Kiwis in the same stadium in 2000.
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