Kiwis a 'poor second' to Kangaroos in decider
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.
"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."
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."