In the final part of our RLWC team of the tournament we look at two Golden Boot nominees, A English bulldog, and two up and coming internationals!
Firstly, at Hooker and Captain of the team, we have the world’s best player Cameroon Smith, The Australian Skipper was recently named the golden boot winner for an second time and added the World cup to his Premiership and State titles in what as been possible the closest any player has come to the ‘Perfect season’. Although at the age of 34 this is probably his last World cup, he is still capable of producing 80 minutes displays and in the end his experience and composure was the difference between in the final.
Completing the front row is a true ‘English Bulldog’ James Graham. The word quit just isn’t in this mans vocabulary as he showed with his no stop performances throughout the world cup, from attempting to chase down Josh Dugan in the final minutes of the first game to him possible having his best game in an England shirt in the final. He was one Englishman who didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
In the Second row we have Viliame Kikau from Fiji, the Penrith based giant was a virtual unknown before the tournament, but his rampaging runs and performances for the Bati, were one of the main reasons they reached their third successive semi final beating New Zealand along the way.
He is partnered in the second row by English man Elliot Whitehead, who has clearly benefited from the past few seasons in the NRL. Once known only for his attacking abilities it was his defence that got him into the team with that tackle that dislodged the ball in the semi-final, followed up with a 80 min stint in the final taking his tally to 209, which was the highest record throughout the tournament.
Finally, at Loose forward is another Golden Boot nominee, Jason Taumalolo who’s decision to turn down New Zealand in favour of Tonga is the main reason they reached the semi finals. His explosive runs, and rock-solid defence set the platform for the historic win over New Zealand and the very nearly that come back of all comebacks against England in the Semi’s.