SBW 'heartbroken' after World Cup final loss

DAVID LONG IN MANCHESTER
Last updated 11:27 01/12/2013
Fairfax NZ

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney says the Australian team were nothing short of outstanding in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup final.

Sonny Bill Williams
Getty Images
NOT THIS TIME: Sonny Bill Williams couldn't lift the Kiwis to victory in the World Cup final.

Related Links

Kiwis at the Rugby League World Cup Stephen Kearney's coaching future up in the air Kangaroos demolish Kiwis in RLWC final Kearney admits Kiwis outclassed in final Slater overcomes demons in World Cup final

Relevant offers

League

'Massive risk' of injury at Auckland Nines, says Manly Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett Former NZ Warriors mentor Ivan Cleary appointed head coach of Lebanon Jarryd Hayne praises Semi Radradra's decision to join Toulon Ben Barba is in a 'good place', says Luke Lewis NRL season preview: The good, bad and the ugly Kieran Foran on track for return but still has work to do, says Warriors star Shaun Johnson Contract talks no distraction for Shaun Johnson as Warriors star gears up for assault on Auckland Nines West Tigers NRL forward Kyle Lovett on drug charges Kiwis owners appoint Manly great Geoff Toovey as Bradford Bulls coach Dragons dangle big offer before Broncos' Ben Hunt

Sonny Bill Williams conceded he tried to do too much in the Kiwis' 34-2 Rugby League World Cup final loss to Australia in Manchester this morning.

It was almost a given that New Zealand needed Williams to have a big game if they were going to stand any chance of beating the Kangaroos and defending their title.

But the recently crowned international player of the year had a rare off night and wasn't able to make a big impression in the game.

Speaking afterwards, Williams said he was devastated that the Kiwis lost.

"I'm heartbroken, I'm really disappointed," Williams said. 

"I left it all out there today. That last 20 minutes was disappointing. 

"I tried to overplay my hand and try to come up with something special and it wasn't to be.

"I definitely feel bad for the brothers but full credit to Australia. They were just too good today."

Williams has no regrets about deciding to play in the World Cup, rather than take a break, which was his initial intention and he said it was a hugely memorable experience for him to play for the Kiwis again.

"It's the thing that I missed," he said. 

"I felt it after a couple of weeks in camp. It's just like a family, a brotherhood, and it's something you can't really get when you are playing at club level. 

"But I'm really disappointed right now and disappointed for the boys. I just couldn't come up with it today. I tried my arse off but it wasn't meant to be.

"In that last 20 minutes, we all tried, and me the most," he added. 

"We tried to push a pass and it just wasn't meant to be. Australia really deserved it and played well."

If the Kiwis had triumphed, Williams would have cemented his plaice in the history books as being the only player to have won a rugby league and rugby union World Cup. However, Williams said that wasn't what had been his motivation.

"It was never about that. It was just about having no regrets when I retire," he said. 

"You win some, you lose some. It's been a privilege to put the Kiwis jersey back on. Just really disappointed for the fans back home and our families."

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content