Better than the All-Blacks - Australian Rugby league News
Backglobalrugbyleague - Sun, 23 Nov 2008 05:24:00 GMT
New Zealand have outshined their rugby counterparts, the All-Blacks, scoring a 34-20 win over Australia to secure their first ever Rugby League World Cup.
Teased as no chance of winning by the Australia media in the build-up to the game and rated as $7.00 outsiders, many were simply hoping for a contest.
But the critics got more than what they bargained for with the Kiwis taking advantage of an Australian outfit that had failed to get a bad performance out of their system in the build-up to the biggest game of the year.
In the end a Billy Slater moment of madness and a controversial penalty try proved too costly for the Aussies who came into the contest off the back of a 52-0 victory over Fiji in last weekend’s semi-final.
An error in attack by the Storm fullback occurred in the 61st minute when Slater, after fielding a kick,opted for taking on Manu Vatuvei down a very short corridor of turf.
Looking to keep the ball alive, Slater hurled the white pill back infield Jarryd Hayne style, setting up a six-point lead to the Kiwis care of Benji Marshall.
In the wake of that mistake, video referee Steve Ganson awarded New Zealand a penalty try with 10 minutes remaining after Australian winger Joel Monaghan held back Lance Hohaia who looked certain to score a try off the back of a Nathan Fien grubber kick.
The early proceedings suggested the scri pt was going to plan and no unusual speed bumps were in store for Ricky Stuart after Australia ran out to a dominant 10-nil lead.
New Zealand’s mental maturity under the guidance of Stephen Kearney and former Kangaroos coach Wayne Bennett ensured the underdogs stayed in the game before stealing the lead for the first time in the 28th minute up 12-10.
Some error ridden play then cost New Zealand the half-time lead when Darren Lockyer – man of the match – touched down for a second time with Johnathan Thurston converting to make it 16-12.
The black and white brigade brought more of their resolve into the second-forty and it produced the miracle many had been praying for at the conclusion of a mostly predictable tournament.
Kiwi captain Nathan Cayless said the 34-20 victory made amends for Parramatta’s 2001 Grand-Final loss.
Cayless also believes the victory will secure New Zealand Rugby League more respect amongst a sea of die-hard Rugby Union fanatics across the Tasman.
“Hopefully we’ll get a lot more respect,” Cayless told the Sunday Telegraph.
“We deserve respect. We’ve worked hard and no one can take it away from us.”
Stephen Kearney – who like former mentor Brian McClennan, won a trophy in his first year as Kiwi coach - was not short on credit to his assistant,Wayne Bennett, who was coach of the Kangaroos only three-years ago.
Kearney spoke of Bennett’s “knowledge of how to prepare for big games” being very important, especially coming off the back of a 30-6 loss in the opening week of the tournament at the Sydney Football Stadium.
New Zealand are now the first team besides Australia to win a World Cup since Great Britain’s last taste of glory back in 1972.
The statistics now show New Zealand has defeated Australia in two of the last three international finals the tran-tasman rivals have competed in since the 2005 Tri-Nations.
Such a record laughs in the face of those proclaiming international rugby league is dead.
It is alive and well.
It could possibly be even healthier if Great Britain can get it’s act together before the next World Cup in 2013. Let’s not push our luck though.
GRL Editor Josh King – who has never seen another team win a World Cup in his lifetime – described the moment as “the most precious piece of history."
“Three-years ago when the Kiwis won the Tri-Nations, people said it was a one-off and claimed the Kangaroos were under-strength” King said.
"I heard all sorts of theories get thrown around.But New Zealand has just won a World Cup against an outfit featuring Darren Lockyer, Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis, Israel Folau and Billy Slater.
"Australia fielded the best line-up it could and still got beaten by a rival outfit missing Sonny Bill Williams, Steve Matai, Roy Asotasi and other key stars.
"None of the cynics of yesteryear can take away the glory and magnitude of what was achieved on November 22, 2008. No one.
"I can’t wait for the DVD to be released and oneday show this to my Grandkids."
NEW ZEALAND 34 (L Hohaia 2 A Blair B Marshall J Ropati J Smith tries I Luke 3 B Marshall 2 goals) bt AUSTRALIA 20 (D Lockyer 2 G Inglis D Williams tries J Thurston 2 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: A Klein. Crowd: 50,599
AUSTRALIA: B Slater, J Monaghan, G Inglis, I Folau, D Williams, D Lockyer (c) , J Thurston, B Kite, C Smith, P Civoniceva, A Laffranchi, G Stewart, P Gallen. Interchange: K Hunt, C Fitzgibbon, A Tupou, J Perry. Coach: Ricky Stuart
NEW ZEALAND: L Hohaia, S Perrett, J Ropati, S Mannering, M Vatuvei, B Marshall, N Fien, N Cayless (c), T Leuluai, A Blair, B Harrison, D Fa'alogo, J Smith. Interchange: I Luke, G Eastwood, S Rapira, S Manu. Coach: Stephen Kearney. - Read More, Here