Australia are the champions of the world after defeating Samoa 30-10 in the grand final in England’s Old Trafford stadium in Manchester.
Toa Samoa made history last week when they became the first Tier-2 nation to make the RLWC final after defeating England 27-26 on the hosts’ home soil.
The Toa Samoa already made history by making the world cup final and went into this morning’s match as underdogs.
Fans across the globe rallied behind the side to pull a historical upset by winning the World Cup but it was just not their day to beat the world’s number one rugby league team.
The start of the match was an arm wrestle with both teams going set for set.
Samoa did well on defence and held the Aussies out for 15 minutes.
However, after Latrell Mitchell powered over for the first try of the match, Samoa began to struggle to keep up.
The Australians’ ruck speed proved far too quick for the big bodied Samoans who never faltered to show heart over the 80 minutes.
Josh Addo-Carr for Australia used this to his Advantage as he seemingly walked past a few Samoan forwards and sliced the Samoa defensive line.
Addo-Carr found his Captain James Tedesco trailing on his inside to score Australia’s second try.
With a 10-0 lead the Kangaroos looked to open the floodgates and put Samoa away in the first half.
Cameron Munster, with all the momentum on his side bit off a little bit more than he could chew when he put in a kick that went dead and gifted Samoa a 7 tackle set.
Off the back of that set, Samoa found themselves right on the Australian try line.
A pin-point kick was batted back by Sua’ali’i into the hands of Crichton and Samoa thought they had their first try of the match but a pass from Crichton to To’o was batted down by Addo-Carr.
Samoa failed to score and instead, the Kangaroos went 100 meters to score on the very next set via Liam Martin who carried two Samoans over to score.
A 14-0 deficit wasn’t too bad for Samoa given they had only completed 8 sets and ran for 400 meters compared to Australia’s 800.
Australia came out of the second half looking quite relaxed, evident by four handling errors in a row. On top of that, Angus Crichton caught Chanel Harris-Tavita with an elbow that completely knocked out Samoa’s hooker.
It looked to be a clear send off but referee Ashley Klein opted to only send the Aussie to the sin bin for 10 minutes. The crowd at Old Trafford disagreed and booed the decision.
Despite the myriad of Kangaroo errors Samoa couldn’t string together a set of plays that would lead to points.
Just like the first half, Australia turned defence into attack as they put in another 100 meter set to score.
Panthers captain Nathan Cleary hit Rabbitohs captain Cameron Murray with a beautiful short ball for Murray to score Australia’s 4th.
With 20 minutes remaining Samoa had nothing to lose, they needed to throw everything at the Kangaroos and take some risks.
That’s exactly what Toa Samoa did and it paid off with their first try of the match.
Lua’i was at his best with his coveted left foot step before throwing the perfect cut out pass to Kelma Tuilagi.
Tuilagi’s quick hands put Brian To’o in acres of space as he cruised over for their first try.
Although Samoa took back some momentum, the achilles heal remained in that when they cannot score on one end, they let Australia score on the very next set.
Samoa intercepted an Aussie pass that put them in a position to score. A wayward pass by Lua’i turned the ball over for Australia to go the length of the field and score their 5th try.
At 26-6 with 10 minutes remaining Samoa needed a miracle to win this match.
A glimpse of a miracle came when Stephen Crichton once again intercepted the ball and ran away to score Samoa’s second try.
The intercept has become Crichton’s signature, and the star centre who has now scored an intercept try in an NRL Grand final, a RLWC semifinal and a RWLC final.
Relentless is how you would describe the Kangaroos, not giving the Toa any room to breathe.
Even on the 79th minute Australia played as if they needed a try to win the match.
A cut out pass by Cleary found a flying Latrell Mitchell to score the cherry on top of Australia’s Rugby League World Cup campaign with a 30-10 victory over Samoa.