Ruthless Australians regain the World Cup

St Helens Star: Australia celebrate their World Cup triumph Australia celebrate their World Cup triumph

NORMAL service was resumed in the world of rugby league with the faultless Kangaroos regaining the crown they lost so spectacularly back in 2008.

The Green and Gold machine was ruthlessly efficient in snuffing out any hopes the World Cup holders had of launching a productive attack.

Defensively the Australians were committed, systematically throwing three men into the tackle to wear the Kiwis down.

And with the ball they were pretty special too, having the speed of though and execution to create and take chances when they came.

Although the bulk of the record 74,468 crowd were backing the Kiwis, the Aussies eventually won a few of those over with some wonderful play in rattling in five tries.

And to pile on the misery for the New Zealanders man of the match Johnathan Thurston was perfect with the boot, kicking seven goals from as many attempts.

Despite the big crowd, the game did not live up to the billing set by the previous week. So much so some members of the crowd rather insultingly occupied themselves with a Mexican Wave.

Maybe the Kiwis had had their final at Wembley the previous week with the last-gasp semi-final victory over England.

They never go so much of a foot-hold in the game, with the Roos simply patuently building a lead.

Thurston and Shaun Johnson swapped penalties in the opening quarter before the fit again Billy Slater made his first real impression on the match.

He beat Kieran Foran in the air to grab the ball from Thurston's kick to reach over on 18 minutes.

Cooper Cronk was maybe harshly denied a try by the video referee for obstruction but the Aussie scrum half was soon on the scoresheet when he hovered up Darius Boyd’s kick to touch down.

The signs were looking pretty ominous for the Kiwis and a conversion and penalty from Thurston made it 16-2 at half-time.

The Kiwis needed to score first after the break, but the Roos were first out of the blocks when Thurston pierced the defence to unleash Boyd.

Speedster Slater was in support to scorch in for his second try.

Right winger Brett Morris touched down from Cron;s kick before sliding into the in-goal. But he showed no ill effects when he backed up Hayne after he had intercepted a pass from Sonny Bill Williams to cross for his second Thurston wrapped up the scoring with his seventh goal to bring the curtain down on a thoroughly enjoyable and much needed strong Rugby League World Cup.


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