Wales Rugby League



Australia win RLW2013

30th November 2013, 23:57

Australia win RLW2013

A sublime performance from the Australians against New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup 2013 final saw them crowned world champions.

Ryan Gould at Old Trafford


A sublime performance from the Australians against New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup 2013 final saw them crowned world champions.


The Kiwis were looking to retain the trophy after their success in the last tournament in 2008, but they couldn’t match the Kangaroos, who were faultless from 1 through to 17.


A record international rugby league crowd of 74,468 were treated to a masterclass performance from Australia. 


And Captain Cameron Smith said after the game that it was “the most complete” Australian performance that he has ever been part of.


He added: “I can’t remember playing in an Australian performance as complete as that before.


“I don’t want to compare this to State of Origin or Grand Finals because these finals with Australia are what you dream of as a kid. You just can’t compare them.”


A penalty for a challenge on Billy Slater off-the-ball gave Australia the lead, but the Kiwis were dealt a much bigger blow minutes later when Tuivasa-Sheck’s game came to a premature end with a knee injury.


New Zealand drew level when Cameron Smith went high on Sonny Bill Williams 20 metres out; Johnson duly slotted over the two points from the penalty.


The Aussies were beginning to control the game after a tight start and a grubber kick trapped Kevin Locke in-goal, leading to Australia opening the try-scoring on the next set.


Thurston received the ball on the last down the left and sent a high kick near to the posts, where Billy Slater climbed high to collect the ball and touch down.


Another quick try for Australia would have put them firmly in control of the final – and they very nearly got it after a remarkable play from Jarryd Hayne on the right touchline.


Slater’s kick was knocked back by the Paramatta Eels centre, which he then regained himself before hacking the ball infield. Cooper Cronk was in the right place at the right time as he collected the ball, but a cover tackle from Locke kept him out, although the try was ruled out for a push in-goal.


New Zealand almost hit back with a try when Johnson sent a bomb to the corner, but Manu Vatuvei landed just short of the line having beat Hayne to the ball.


The Kangaroos were in for their second try soon after, though, as Cooper Cronk collected a Darius Boyd kick to score in the left corner.


Anther penalty was awarded to Australia shortly before the break and, once again, Thurston was successful in adding an extra two points on to the scoreboard.


It took less than a minute for the Aussies to add another try after the restart; from there it seemed unlikely that New Zealand would work their way back into the game.


Darius Boyd was set off down the left by a Thurston pass and Billy Slater was in support on the inside to cross for his second of the game.


Any glimmer of hope that the Kiwis had of pulling the game back disappeared when Brett Morris went over for an outstanding score, which could even pip Tuivasa-Sheck’s effort last week in the semi-final at Wembley to the try of the tournament.


Papalii flicked the ball out to the Brett Morris on the wing to chip forward to Cooper Cronk. The halfback collected and kicked forward once again, and Morris won the chase to pounce on the ball.


Australia’s first unforced error came near their own line with just 10 minutes remaining – but New Zealand couldn’t take advantage at any point.


Their eagerness to get points of the board in fact backfired, as Sonny Bill William’s wild offload found the hands of Jarryd Hayne, who broke 65 metres before handing the ball to Morris for his second.


The Kangaroos were tipped as favourites before the start of the tournament - and they've never looked like letting the bookmakers down. 



1 Kevin Locke

2 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

3 Dean Whare

4 Bryson Goodwin

5 Manu Vatuvei

6 Keiran Foran

7 Shaun Johnson

8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

9 Isaac Luke

10 Jesse Bromwich

11 Simon Mannering

12 Sonny Bill Williams

13 Elijah Taylor


14 Frank-Paul Nu’uausala

15 Sam Kasiano

15 Ben Matulino

17 Alex Glenn



Goals: Johnson 1/1



1 Billy Slater

2 Brett Morris

3 Greg Inglis

4 Jarryd Hayne

5 Darius Boyd

6 Jonathan Thurston

7 Cooper Cronk

8 Matthew Scott

9 Cameron Smith

10 James Tamou

11 Greg Bird

12 Sam Thaiday

13 Paul Gallen


14 Daly Cherry-Evans

15 Josh Papalii

16 Andrew Fifita

17 Corey Parker


Tries: Slater (19, 41), Cronk (30), Morris (52, 71)

Goals: Thurston 7/7


Referee: Richard Silverwood

HT: 2-16

Attendance: 74,468

Man of the Match: Jonathan Thurston (Australia)