Rugby League World Cup final
Australia (6) 6
Tries: Cordner Goal: Smith
England (0) 0
World Cup holders and Pre-Tournament favourites retained their trophy in one of the closest finals of the modern era. In front of a packed house at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane Australia were made to work by a determined and plucky England team that over the 80 mins had plenty of chances to cause the upset and get their hands on the World cup for the first time in 45 years.
In a first half that was end to end rugby Australia opened the scoring mid-way through the half, Michael Morgan working his magic that got the rampaging 2nd rower forward Boyd Cordner one on one with Luke Gale 5 minutes from the english try line and with the miss match in size the Australian forward barged over. With the kangaroo’s skipper Cameron Smith adding the conversion the reigning champions went 6-0 up.
With the Kangaroo’s being so dominate throughout the tournament many people believed that would be the first of many, but it was England who seemed to up the pace, twice turning down kickable penalties only to throw the ball away close to the Australian try line early in the set.
In such a close game Michael Morgan had thought he had doubled the lead, when he crossed form a Jordan McClean pass, only for Referee Gerard Sutton to pull them back for an obstruction by skipper Smith.
With Plan A seeming to fail the Australians, England started to grow in confidence and started to fine opportunities only for the final pass or in the case of Kallum Watkins a last gasp desperate fingertip ankle tap that just caught the English Centre has he headed to the try line with numbers in support.
However, Australia managed to somehow soak up everything that England through at them as the minutes ticked down and every rugby fan sat on the edge of their seat until the final whistle went crowning the Hosts as champions for the 11th time, while England contemplated just what could have been!!
England: G Widdop; J McGillvary, K Watkins, J Bateman, R Hall; K Brown, L Gale; C Hill, J Roby, J Graham, B Currie, E Whitehead, S Burgess (capt).
Interchanges: A Walmsley, T Burgess, C Heighington, J Lomax.
Australia: B Slater; D Gagai, W Chambers, J Dugan, V Holmes; M Morgan, C Cronk; A Woods, C Smith, D Klemmer, B Cordner, M Gillett, J McGuire.
Interchanges: W Graham, J McLean, R Campbell-Gillard, T Frizell.