Australia were hot favourites entering the 2017 Rugby League World Cup…and they didn’t disappoint.
Australia won all six games, including a 6-0 World Cup Final win over England at Brisbane Stadium.
Stung by the fadeout against Tonga, England held Australia to just one try (Boyd Cordner in the 15th minute, Cameron Smith goal), but it still wasn’t enough.
While Australia scored 210 points this tournament (averaging 35/game), they only conceded 16, including shut-outs against Lebanon, Samoa and England.
Australia edged England in possession (51 per cent to 49 per cent), and completion rates (39/47 to 31/43), though England hurt themselves with 12 errors to Australia’s eight.
There was redemption for Billy Slater and Smith – they played in Australia’s 2008 loss to New Zealand – while Storm teammate Cooper Cronk retired after the win.
The Kangaroos’ win completed a perfect day for Australia, with the Jillaroos beating the NZ Silver Ferns 23-16 in the Women’s Rugby League World Cup Final curtain raiser. Leading by six with 10 minutes left, Caitlyn Moran’s full time field goal sealed it. Isabelle Kelly scored two tries for the Jillaroos, with one to Moran, one to Elianna Walton and three goals to Moran. Honey Hireme scored a double for the Silver Ferns, with one to Raecene McGregor and two goals to Kimiora Nati.
Like the men’s team, the Jillaroos went through their World Cup undefeated, beating Cook Islands 58-4, England 38-0, Canada 88-0 in the group stage and Canada 58-6 in the semi final.