Relentless Australia See Off Samoa To Retain Rugby League World Cup

The Kangaroos claimed a 12th crown with a 30-10 win at Old Trafford
17:47, 19 Nov 2022

Australia are the men’s Rugby League world champions for the 12th time after they put in a relentless performance to beat first-time finalists Samoa 30-10 at Old Trafford.

First-half tries from Latrell Mitchell, James Tedesco and Liam Martin set the platform for the victory, but it was also their magnificent defence which helped to keep Samoa at arm’s length as the Pacific Islanders struggled to puncture an outstanding Kangaroos line.

Even after losing Angus Crichton to a second-half sin-binning it was they who scored in the following 10 minutes, meaning a late attempted rally from Samoa always looked futile as two-try captain Tedesco led his nation to glory.

Australia's triumph marks a ninth success in the last 10 men's World Cup tournaments, and their third in succession following their shock loss to New Zealand in the 2008 final.


After a set-for-set battle early on, Mitchell broke through in the 14th minute when Nathan Cleary pulled in Anthony Milford and sent the big left-centre over on the short side. While Cleary couldn’t convert, the gap was 10 points within minutes as Valentine Holmes made an initial break, then Josh Addo-Carr burst the crooked Samoa defence open and fed Tedesco for a quickfire second.

While Samoa stemmed the flow for a while, it always felt like it was on the Kangaroos’ terms. And when the underdogs finally began to build pressure, Milford spilt the ball with an overlap to his left. From the next possession Australia were in again, Harry Grant darting from dummy half to create a three-v-two advantage on the right, with Martin beating a two-player tackle to touch down.


There appeared to be an opportunity for Samoa to get on the board early in the second half when Angus Crichton was sin-binned for an elbow to the face of Chanel Harris-Tavita, who was knocked out cold and had to leave the field. And during the ensuing 10 minutes the reigning champions didn’t help their cause as they suddenly became sloppy in possession and handed Samoa good ball.

Yet it was the Kangaroos who scored before Crichton’s return, Cleary sending in Cameron Murray after Cameron Munster had stolen possession back in centre field.

Samoa did eventually get on the board in the 61st minute when Jarome Luai stepped, headed to the short side and found Kelma Tuilagi with a cut-out pass, Tuilagi feeding Brian To’o for a try in the corner.

But Tedesco’s angled run finished off a move involving Ben Hunt, Nathan Cleary and Cameron Munster, meaning Stephen Crichton’s interception try which followed came more as a consolation than as part of a concerted rally.

And Mitchell rounded out the win when taking Cleary's pass to walk in after Crichton darted out of the line attempting another intercept.

The latest Kangaroo victory on this stage continues an unparalleled dominance of the sport, with just one failure to win the competition in the last 50 years.


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