Kiwis demolished in RLWC final

18:22, Nov 30 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.

New Zealand's reign as rugby league world champions has ended in utter misery and embarrassment as they were smashed 34-2 by Australia in the World Cup final this morning.

After causing a massive upset in the final five years ago in Brisbane, the Kiwis couldn't repeat that feat and were taken to pieces in a devastatingly one-sided contest.

The Kangaroos were clinical in everything they did and found it all too easy to beat a Kiwis team that never got into the game.

It quickly became apparent that the majority of the 74,468 crowd at the sold-out Old Trafford were supporting New Zealand as the Kangaroos were greeted to boos as they came out for their warm up.

However, the atmosphere during the game was flat throughout as there was precious little that the Kiwis did that there was to get enthusiastic about.

Johnathan Thurston kicked Australia in front in the fifth minute after Kieran Foran was penalised for bumping into Billy Slater, preventing him from catching a bomb.


Three minutes later the Kiwis' game plan was in tatters when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck hobbled off the field, clearly still hampered by his sore right leg. 

It meant a quick reshuffling of the Kiwis team with Dean Whare moving to the wing and Alex Glenn taking his spot at centre. The Kangaroos didn't waste any time jumping on the Kiwis' weakness and relentlessly attack down their left edge for the entire game.

There was more drama straight after when Jarryd Hayne looked to knock himself out when he got his head in the wrong position trying to tackle Simon Mannering.

However, after a couple of minutes Hayne continued in the game, despite appearing groggy initially.

In the 15th minute, Shaun Johnson had levelled the scores at 2-2 from a penalty, however the game was only tied briefly as Billy Slater scored the opening try, catching Thurston's kick, then spinning round and diving over.

Ten minutes later the Kangaroos came close to scoring their second try, Hayne took a snap kick from out wide, Cooper Cronk beat Issac Luke to the ball but couldn't ground it as the Kiwis hooker just managed to get his hand under it.

However, the Australians did get another try on the half hour mark with Cronk being the first to a loose ball close to the Kiwis' line.

Four minutes from the break Thurston stretched Australia's lead further with another penalty and it was the final significant act of what had been a dreadful half for New Zealand.

Forty five seconds into the second half the Kangaroos had all but confirmed themselves as World Cup winners when Slater strolled in for his second try, as Australia again carved up down their left edge.

In the 50th minute, what Thurston feared in his press conference came true, with Australian wing Brett Morris smashing into the electronic advertising hoarding as he slid out of play after grounding the ball for his country's next try.

Five minutes later Manu Vatuvei crashed into the hoarding at the other end of the ground, with his body bouncing off the concrete below him before the collision. Both instances demonstrated that in a final where both teams will do everything to score, Old Trafford is simply too dangerous a venue.

Morris got the Kangaroos' final try in the 72nd minute and that was the signal for the Australian players to begin their celebrations, safe in the knowledge that they were the new world champions.

Australia 32 (Billy Slater 2, Brett Morris 2, Cooper Cronk tries; Johnathan Thurston 5 con, penalty) New Zealand 2 (Shaun Johnson penalty). HT: 16-2

Fairfax Media