Players blast short Old Trafford in-goals in final

Last updated 05:00 02/12/2013
Brett Morris
Getty Images
PAINFUL TRY: Brett Morris lies hurt after scoring a try for the Kangaroos and crashing into the advertising hoardings at Old Trafford.

Relevant offers


Kiwi league star Benji Marshall looks to extend career and rugby is an option Warriors assistant coach Justin Morgan excited about what new stars will bring Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei plans eyebrow tribute to Jonah Lomu Former Warriors coach Tony Kemp says Taranaki NRL game 'massive' for the province Young Dragons players praise Kiwi league prop Russell Packer and call for him to stay in Australia NRL to block bargain deals for Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah with rival clubs Strong sales for pre-season league game between Warriors and Dragons in Nelson Canterbury Rugby League choose not to appeal ruling Warriors to play 2016 NRL match at New Plymouth's Yarrow Stadium Burgess to kick off Sunday blockbusters

Kiwis wing Manu Vatuvei says Old Trafford was "too dangerous" to host a World Cup final.

Vatuvei was lucky not to come away with a serious injury in the Kiwis' 34-2 loss to the Kangaroos at the home of the Manchester United Football Club.

The stadium had in-goals about 4m deep, after which there was a steep drop and then metal LED advertising hoardings.

In the second half Kangaroos wing Brett Morris smashed into the hoardingsafter scoring a try and shortly after at the other end Vatuvei leapt fearlessly to try and catch a bomb.

He was unable to do that, but his body bounced off the concrete floor at the bottom of the slope and then crashed into the hoardings.

There was always the risk of incidents like this happening and the Kangaroos' Johnathan Thurston expressed his fears about the venue the day before the game.

As it turned out, Thurston was correct and it is remarkable that no players picked up a serious injury in the final.

"It was too dangerous, but you've got to play with it," Vatuvei said.

"I am honoured to play on this historic field, I came out all right."

Vatuvei said he realised he might end up hurting himself as he jumped for the ball, but as this was a World Cup final, personal safety had to come second.

"I put my body on the line for the brothers," he said. "I'd die for the jersey and the country and I did my best there. We said during the week that we'd put our bodies on the line."

Meanwhile, Morris said he also made the decision that he would risk personal injury to score for Australia.

"The main priority was I wanted to score the try, obviously putting your body on the line you want to get the four points," said Morris, who bruised his hip in the collision.

"We spoke about the short in goals and if there was a chance to score a try 30 centimetres from the in goal we were going to put our bodies on the line.

"I knew there wasn't much going to stop me other than the hoarding at the end of the field but we are playing for Australia and you have got to put your body on the line. Pain is temporary."

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