Kiwis a 'poor second' to Kangaroos in decider

15:05, Dec 02 2013
Kiwis at the Rugby League World Cup
Sonny Bill Williams makes a charge against Samoa.
Kiwis at the Rugby League World Cup
Isaac Luke makes a break for New Zealand.
Kiwis at the Rugby League World Cup
Samoa's Anthony Milford is tackled by Bryson Goodwin, right, and Manu Vatuvei.
Kiwis at the Rugby League World Cup
Key playmaker Shaun Johnson looks to ignite another Kiwi attack.
Shaun Johnson
Shaun Johnson takes a shot at goal during the victory over France.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Kiwis wing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck attempts to skip out of a French tackle.
Bryson Goodwin
Bryson Goodwin dives over for a try in the Kiwis' 48-0 rout of France.
Kiwis haka
New Zealand players perform the haka before taking on France.
Kiwis vs France
The French and New Zealand sides line up for the anthems.
Manu Vatuvei
Manu Vatuvei doesn't like being out-done by team mate Sonny Bill Williams.
Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams dances past would-be Papua New Guinea tacklers.
Kiwis Haka
The Kiwis perform their haka before going into battle against Papua New Guinea in pool play at the World Cup.
Sam Kasiano
Sam Kasiano barrels through the Papua New Guinean defence during the Kiwis' 56-10 rout.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Two-try scorer Roger Tuivasa-Sheck tries to step England's Sean O'Loughlin.
Kevin Locke
Kiwis fullback Kevin Locke gets caught between four English defenders.
Shaun Johnson
Shaun Johnson takes a first half kick at goal.
Ryan Hall
England wing Ryan Hall is taken by Kiwis Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Dean Whare.
Brett Ferres
England's Brett Ferres is tackled by Shaun Johnson and another Kiwis defender.
Kiwis haka
The Kiwis perform the haka ahead of their semifinal against England.
Shaun Johnson
Kiwis players pile on Shaun Johnson after his match-trying try, before he converted to send New Zealand into the Rugby League World Cup final.
Shaun Johnson
Shaun Johnson dives over to score in the last minute to rescue the Kiwis.
Shaun Johnson
Shaun Johnson leaps into the arms of team-mates after his match-winning conversion.
Issac Luke
Issac Luke leaps in the air in celebration as Shaun Johnson (No 7) and other Kiwis players raise their arms after Johnson's match-winning conversion.
Manu Vatuvei
Kiwis wing Manu Vatuvei is lifted off the ground in the tackle of Jarryd Hayne.
Billy Slater
Billy Slater scores the first try of the final in the tackle of Dean Whare.
Issac Luke
Kiwis hooker Issac Luke is scragged by Australians Paul Gallen and Cameron Smith.
Cooper Cronk
After being denied earlier, Cooper Cronk dives over for a first half try.
Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams looks up at a sorry-looking scoreboard.
Greg Inglis and Kevin Locke
Kiwis fullback Kevin Locke mishandles the high kick under pressure from Greg Inglis.
Jarryd Hayne and Manu Vatuvei
Jarryd Hayne and Manu Vatuvei compete for a high kick out wide.
Dejected Kiwis
Dejected Kiwis players (from left) Sonny Bill Williams, Dean Whare and Kieran Foran.
Simon Mannering
Kiwis captain Simon Mannering is fended in the face by Paul Gallen.

The Kiwis have copped a pasting from the British media for their inept performance in the Rugby League World Cup final in Manchester.

The local scribes didn't hold back in analysing a woeful New Zealand effort as they were embarrassed 34-2 by Australia, meekly surrendering their world crown at Old Trafford.

The Kiwis had scraped into the final with Shaun Johnson's last-gasp converted try against England a week earlier. That took the sting out of the tournament finale from a British perspective and surely England could have put up a better effort than the Kiwis did yesterday as they were swamped by five unanswered tries.

Kiwis league
NOT UP TO IT: British media vent at Kiwis team after they were unable to score a try in the Rugby League World Cup final against Australia.

"New Zealand were outplayed, overpowered and overawed by their great rivals on the grand stage," James Riach wrote in The Guardian.

"Tim Sheens's side were unstoppable... New Zealand, who boast a wealth of attacking riches, never even came close to scoring," he said.

"New Zealand were bereft of ideas."

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Peter Macgill, writing in the Lancashire Telegraph, didn't hold back.

"Not even the Rocky scriptwriters could have helped New Zealand get off the deck and overcome their Australian tormentors," he wrote.

"Pity really, as such a successful tournament, which has captured the imaginations of most neutral sports fans, almost deserved a more captivating concluding contest.

"But the Green and Gold machine ground the Kiwis into fine pate and served up a reminder that their recipe for revenge has been in the chiller since 2008.

"Like most homegrown fans, I had a hankering for a Kiwi repeat victory, even despite England's semi-final heartache seven days ago.

"But when you witness a rugby league masterclass, a perfect indictment of mind over muscle, even I'm willing to tip the hat to the all-conquering Kangaroos."

The Mirror hailed the Kangaroos for "a complete and utter decimation of their southern hemisphere rivals".

While it marvelled at Billy Slater's attacking genius, it felt the Australian defence was key.

"Most impressively, Australia kept their tryline intact for the fifth successive match," the Mirror said.

"Only England managed to score tries against Tim Sheens' team, who achieved a feat that even eluded the 1982 Invincibles.

"It was all something of an anti-climax as the curtain fell on the 14th and most successful World Cup."

The BBC's Paul Fletcher described the Kangaroos as "clinical" and said they had put up a "near-faultless display".

Of the Kiwis, he said: "They were a poor second against the Kangaroos.

"The crowd of 74,468 was a record for an international fixture and most seemed to be backing New Zealand, but they had little choice except to admire the breathtaking play of the Kangaroos."

Jonathan Davies, the BBC's league expert, added: "Australia did the simple things and I thought their kicking game was immense.''

"They got away from their line easily and when the chances came, they took them. They were fantastic and I haven't seen such a one-sided display for a long, long time."

The Telegraph's league writer Ian Chadband chose to praise the Kangaroos rather than add more scorn on the Kiwis.

He likened the Australian league side to New Zealand's rugby champions.

"The statistics do not lie," Chadband wrote.

"Since their World Cup final defeat five years ago, they have lost only one test in 25.

"We have just said farewell to an All Blacks side, among the best union sides we have seen, and these Kangaroos need to be mentioned in the same breath now."

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