2000 Rugby League World Cup

2000 (2000) Rugby League World Cup  ()
Number of teams 16
Host countries  United Kingdom
Winner  Australia (9th title)

Matches played 31
Attendance 263,921 (8,514 per match)
Top scorer Mat Rogers (70)
Top try scorer Wendell Sailor (10)
 < 1995
2008 > 

The 2000 Rugby League World Cup was held during October and November of that year in Great Britain, Ireland and France. Sixteen national teams competed in four groups of four, playing each other once over three weekly rounds before a series of play-offs that culminated in the final between Australia and New Zealand. Tournament favourites Australia defeated New Zealand in the final, claiming their sixth consecutive and ninth total Rugby League World Cup title. Australian winger Wendell Sailor was named player of the tournament.


Building on the 1995 Rugby League World Cup, it was decided to expand the format further, with the number of teams rising from 10 to 16. As before, an Emerging Nations Tournament was held alongside the main event.

The millennium World Cup attracted a record sponsorship of over £1 million from Lincoln Financial Group, who had also sponsored Great Britain's Tests against New Zealand the previous autumn.[1]

The 2000 World Cup was not considered a great success. There were too many mismatches in the early stages, and some of the teams lacked credibility. Notably the inclusion of a side representing New Zealand's Māori population, Aotearoa Māori, alongside the full New Zealand team, and a Lebanon side consisting entirely of Australians of Lebanese origin, led to derisory comments in the media.[2] The tournament's organisers also attracted criticism regarding marketing and ticketing. For these reasons crowds at the tournament were low; also torrential rainstorms and the crisis on Britain's railways following the Hatfield rail crash did not help encourage spectators.

There were however some positives: the tournament returned a profit of more than £2m despite the small crowds it attracted;[3] the French performed creditably, and attendance for the games held in France was encouraging. The much-derided Lebanon team also proved the catalyst for domestic competition in that country.

On the competition side of things, favourites Australia[4] and New Zealand cut a swathe through the tournament, with several dominant performances setting up an obvious final clash. New Zealand's 49–6 semi-final dispatch of England, coupled with Australia only hitting the lead in their semi-final against Wales with 23 minutes remaining, had New Zealand installed as favourites in some quarters. However, it was Australia who prevailed in a tense, absorbing finale. Australia only led 18–12 with 15 minutes remaining, but a glut of possession saw them finish strongly – scoring four late tries to give the appearance of an easy victory.


Six countries – Lebanon, the United States, Morocco, Canada, Italy and Japan – competed for one available place in the tournament. In the final play-off match the United States lost 62–8 to Lebanon, who were through to their first World Cup.


The 2000 World Cup tournament features 16 teams:


The games were played at various venues in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France.

The Twickenham Stadium in London, the home of the English rugby union was the host stadium for the opening ceremony and match featuring hosts England and defending champions Australia.[5]

London Cardiff Toulouse Bolton Huddersfield
Twickenham Stadium Millennium Stadium Stadium de Toulouse Reebok Stadium McAlpine Stadium
Capacity: 75,000 Capacity: 74,500 Capacity: 37,000 Capacity: 28,723 Capacity: 24,500
Reading Leeds Watford Paris Edinburgh
Madejski Stadium Headingley Vicarage Road Stade Sébastien Charléty Tynecastle Stadium
Capacity: 24,161 Capacity: 22,000 Capacity: 21,577 Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 17,529
St. Helens Belfast Gloucester Widnes Albi
Knowsley Road Windsor Park Kingsholm Stadium Autoquest Stadium Stadium Municipal d'Albi
Capacity: 17,500 Capacity: 17,000 Capacity: 16,500 Capacity: 13,350 Capacity: 13,058
Hull Gateshead Castleford Llanelli Wrexham
Craven Park Gateshead International Stadium Wheldon Road Stradey Park Racecourse Ground
Capacity: 12,000 Capacity: 11,800 Capacity: 11,743 Capacity: 10,800 Capacity: 10,771
Hull Glasgow Workington Carcassonne Dublin
The Boulevard Firhill Stadium Derwent Park Stade Albert Domec Tolka Park
Capacity: 10,500 Capacity: 10,102 Capacity: 10,000 Capacity: 10,000 Capacity: 9,680

Final Venue

Old Trafford
Capacity: 56,000

Group 1


, 28 October
England  2–22  Australia
Pen: Farrell Try: Sailor (2),
Con: Rogers (3/4)
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 33,758
Referee: David Pakieto
Man of the Match: Brett Kimmorley
England  Number  Australia
Kris Radlinski 1. Darren Lockyer
Leon Pryce 2. Mat Rogers
Scott Naylor 3. Ryan Girdler
Keith Senior 4. Matt Gidley
Chev Walker 5. Wendell Sailor
Tony Smith 6. Brad Fittler
Sean Long 7. Brett Kimmorley
Harvey Howard 8. Shane Webcke
Paul Rowley 9. Andrew Johns
Stuart Fielden 10. Robbie Kearns
Adrian Morley 11. Gorden Tallis
Mike Forshaw 12. Bryan Fletcher
Andy Farrell 13. Scott Hill
Paul Wellens 14. Adam MacDougall
Kevin Sinfield 15. Jason Croker
Darren Fleary 16. Darren Britt
Paul Anderson 17. Jason Stevens
Starting player

This was the first rugby league match to be played at Twickenham Stadium, London's home of rugby union.[6]

, 29 October
Fiji  38–12  Russia
Try: Vunivalu (3),
Tuqiri (2),
Con: Tuqiri (5/7)
Try: Rullis,
Con: Jiltsov (1/1)
Mitrofanov (1/1)
Craven Park, Hull
Attendance: 2,187[7]
Referee: Russell Smith

1. Lote Tuqiri, 2. Jone Kuraduadua, 3. Waisale Sovatabua, 4. Eparama Navale, 5. Farasiko Tokarei, 6. Semi Tadulala, 7. Stephen Smith
8. Kalaveti Tuiabayaba, 9. Tabua Cakacaka, 10. Freddie Robarts, 11. Etuate Vakatawa, 12. Joe Tamani, 13. Samu Marayawa.
Substitutes: 14. Atunasia Vunivialu, 15. Josefa Lasagavibau, 16. Amani Takayawa, 17. Peceli Vuniyayawa.

1. Robert Iliassov, 2. Mikhail Mitrofanov, 3. Donovan, 4. Craig Cygler, 5. Romanov, 6. Olari, 7. Gavriline
8. Ian Rubin, 8. Lysenkov, 10. Robert Campbell, 11. Petr Sokolov, 12. Findlay, 13. Joel Rullis.
Substitutes: Kalachkine, Netchaev, Jiltsov, Postnikov.

1 November 2000
Australia  66–8  Fiji
Try: Rogers (4),
Girdler (2),
Kennedy (2),
Con: Rogers (9/12)
Try: Cakacaka (m),
Tuqiri (m)
Con: ? (0/2)
Gateshead International Stadium, Gateshead
Attendance: 4,197[8]
Referee: Robert Connolly

Australians Ben Kennedy, Trent Barrett and Nathan Hindmarsh were selected to make their Kangaroo debuts in this match.

1. Darren Lockyer, 2. Mat Rogers, 3. Ryan Girdler, 4. Matt Gidley, 5. Adam MacDougall, 6. Trent Barrett, 7. Andrew Johns, 8. Jason Stevens, 9. Craig Gower, 10. Michael Vella, 11. Ben Kennedy, 12. Nathan Hindmarsh, 13. Brad Fittler.
Substitutes: Scott Hill, Jason Croker, Robbie Kearns, Shane Webcke.
Coach: Chris Anderson

Tries: Rogers 4, Kennedy 2, Barrett, Hindmarsh, MacDougall, Girdler 2, Gidley.
Goals: Rogers 9.

1. Lote Tuqiri, 2. Jone Kuraduadua, 3. Waisale Sovatabua, 4. Navalu, 5. Semi Tadulala, 6. Smith, 7. Naisoro, 8. Tabua Cakacaka, 9. Robarts, 10. Vakatawa, 11. Tamani, 12. Marayawa, 13. Atunasia Vunivialu.
Substitutes: Tokarei, Navugona, Takayawa, Wawavamia.

1 November 2000
England  76–4  Russia
Try: Sinfield (3),
Jamie Peacock (2),
Long (2),
Rowley (2),
Con: Farrell (5),
Long (5)
Pen: Mitrofanov (2)
Knowsley Road, St Helens
Attendance: 5,736
Referee: Bill Shrimpton

4 November 2000
England  66–10  Fiji
Try: Jamie Peacock (3),
Wellens (2),
Rogers (2),
Con: Farrell (9/12)
Try: Tuqiri (m),
Navale (c),
Con: Vunivalu (1/2)

4 November 2000
Australia  110–4  Russia
Try: Sailor (4),
Girdler (3),
Croker (2),
Hindmarsh (2),
Barrett (2),
Con: Girdler (17/19)
Try: Donovan
Con: Mitrofanov (0/1)
The Boulevard, Hull
Attendance: 3,044
Referee: Stuart Cummings

Final standings

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Points
 Australia 330019814+1846
 England 320114436+1084
 Fiji 310256144−882
 Russia 300320224−2040

Group 2


, 29 October
New Zealand  64–0  Lebanon
Try: Jones (2),
Carroll (2),
Vainikolo (2),
Talau (2),
Barnett (2),
Con: Jones (6),
Paul (2)
Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
Attendance: 2,496[9]
Referee: Bill Harrigan

New Zealand:
1. Ritchie Barnett (c), 2. Leslie Vainikolo, 3. Tonie Carroll, 4. Willie Talau, 5. Brian Jellick, 6. Henry Paul, 7. Stacey Jones
8. Smith, 9. Swain, 10. Pongia, 11. Logan Swann, 12. Kearney, 13. Ruben Wiki.
Substitutes: Joe Vagana, Robbie Paul, Rua, Cayless.
Coach:Frank Endacott

1. Hazem El Masri (c), 2. Najarrin, 3. Katrib, 4. Touma, 5. H. Saleh, 6. Stanton, 7. Coorey
8. Maroon, 9. Semrani, 10. Elamad, 11. Chamoun, 12. Khoury, 13. Lichaa.
Substitutes: Salem, Nohra, Tamer, S. El Masri.

, 29 October
Wales  38–6  Cook Islands
Try: Tassell (3),
Con: Harris (6/6)
Pen.: Harris (1/1)
Try: Temata
Con: Piakura (1/1)
Racecourse Ground, Wrexham
Attendance: 5,016[10]
Referee: Thierry Alibert

1. Paul Atcheson, 2. Paul Sterling, 3. Jason Critchley, 4. Kris Tassell, 5. Anthony Sullivan, 6. Iestyn Harris (c), 7. Lee Briers
8. Anthony Farrell, 9. Keiron Cunningham, 10. Dave Whittle, 11. Justin Morgan, 12. Mick Jenkins, 13. Dean Busby.
Substitutes: Ian Watson, Wes Davies, Paul Highton, Garreth Carvell.

Cook Islands:
1. Richard Piakura, 2. Tongia, 3. Steve Berryman, 4. Kevin Iro (c), 5. Karl Temata, 6. Bowen, 7. Joe
8. Tuakuru, 9. Clark, 10. Temu, 11. Kuru, 12. Pau, 13. Anthony Samuels.
Substitutes: Andersson, Lewis, Tere Glassie, Cook.

2 November 2000
New Zealand  84–10  Cook Islands
Try: Vaealiki (2),
Paul (2),
Barnett (2),
Lavea (2),
Con: Lavea (12/15)
Try: Noovao
Con: Piakura (1/2)
Madejski Stadium, Reading
Attendance: 3,982
Referee: Tim Mander

2 November 2000
Wales  24–22  Lebanon
Try: Harris (2),
Con: Harris (2/5)
Try: Saleh (2),
El Masri
Con: El Masri (3/4)
Stradey Park, Llanelli
Attendance: 1,497
Referee: David Pakieto

5 November 2000
Cook Islands  22–22  Lebanon
Try: Berryman (2),
Con: Berryman (2)
Try: El Masri (2),
Con: El Masri (3/4)
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 17,612
Referee: Bill Shrimpton

5 November 2000
Wales  18–58  New Zealand
Try: Briers,
Con: Harris (3/3)
Try: Vainikolo (3),
Barnett (2),
Con: Paul (5)
Lavea (2)
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 17,612
Referee: Russell Smith

Final standings

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Points
 New Zealand 330020628+1786
 Wales 32018086−64
 Lebanon 301244110−661
 Cook Islands 301238144−1061

Group 3


, 28 October
Papua New Guinea  23–20  France
Tries: Bai, Krewanty, Buko, Lam.
Goals: Buko, Wilshere 2.
Drop Goals: Lam.
Tries: Benausse, Dekkiche, Hechiche 2.
Goals: Banquet 2.
Charlety Stadium, Paris
Attendance: 7,498
Referee: Steve Ganson[11]

1. Freddie Banquet, 2. Yancine Dekkiche, 3. Cassin, 4. Dulac, 5. Patrice Benausse, 6. Laurent Frayssinous, 7. Devechi
8. Rachid Hechiche, 9. Wulf, 10. Teixido, 11. Guisset, 12. Tallec, 13. Jampy.
Substitutes: El Khalouki, Carrasco, Sands, Despin.

Papua New Guinea
1. David Buko, 2. John Wiltshere, 3. Aila, 4. Songoro, 5. Marcus Bai, 6. Stanley Gene, 7. Adrian Lam
8. Kahl, 9. Marum, 10. Solbat, 11. Naawi, 12. Mamando, 13. O'Reilly.
Substitutes: mother, Alex Krewanty, Norman, Mondo.

This was the first match of a double-header in Paris for the opening round.

, 28 October
Tonga  66–18  South Africa
Try: Vaikona 5' (c)
D. Mann 7' (c)
Vaikona 20' (c)
Liava'a ?' (m)
Masella ?' (m)
Moala ?' (m)
E. Mann 44' (m)
Vaikona 46' (m)
Lomi 51' (c)
Vaikona 55' (c)
Kaufusi ?' (?)
D. Mann ?' (?)
Mason ?' (?)
Con: Moala (4/9)
Mason (1/1)
Try: Breytenbach 17' (m)
Barnard ?' (c)
Best ?' (c)
Con: ? (0/1)
Bloem (2/2)
Pen: O'Shea (1/1)
Charlety Stadium, Paris
Attendance: 7,498
Referee: Darren Hopewell[12]

This match formed the second part of the opening round double-header in Paris.

1. Paul Koloi, 2. Fifita Moala, 3. Tevita Vaikona, 4. G. Wolfgramm, 5. Lipina Kaufusi, 6. Howlett, 7. W. Wolfgramm
8. Martin Masella (c), 9. Esau Mann, 10. Talite Liava'a, 11. Willie Mason, 12. Talou, 13. Duane Mann.
Substitutes: David Fisi'iahi, Manu, Nelson Lomi, Kite.

South Africa:
1. Tim O'Shea, 2. Brian Best, 3. Leon Barnard, 4. Johnson, 5. Dames, 6. Conrad Breytenbach, 7. Jamie Bloem
8. Booysen, 9. Skelton, 10. Powell, 11. Rutgerson, 12. De Villiers, 13. Erasmus.
Substitutes: Jennings, Nel, Mulder, Cloete.
Coach: Paul Matete

Before the match a statue honouring French rugby league legend, Puig Aubert was unveiled by the French Rugby League Federation at the stadium.[13]

, 1 November
France  28–8  Tonga
Try: Banquet ?' (c)
Sirvent ?' (c)
Dulac 66' (m)
Garcia ?' (c)
Jampy ?' (c)
Con: Banquet (4/5)
Pen: Banquet (0/2)
Try: D. Fisi'iahi ?' (m)
P. Fisi'iahi 60' (m)
Con: Moala (0/2)
Stade d'Albert Domec, Carcassonne
Attendance: 10,288
Referee: Steve Clark

1. Freddie Banquet, 2. Jean-Marc Garcia, 3. Cassin, 4. Arnaud Dulac, 5. Claude Sirvent, 6. Fabien Devechi, 7. Rinaldi
8. Hechiche, 9. Wulf, 10. Sands, 11. Jerome Guisset, 12. Tallec, 13. Pascal Jampy.
Substitutes: Despin, Carrasco, Sort, Teixido.

1. Paul Koloi, 2. Fifita Moala, 3. Vaikona, 4. David Fisi'iahi, 5. L. Kaufusi, 6. Howlett, 7. Hifo
8. Martin Masella (c), 9. E. Mann, 10. Liava'a, 11. Willie Mason, 21. Kite, 13. D. Mann.
Substitutes: Paul Fisi'iahi, Manu, Nelson Lomi, A. Masella.

Sin Bin: Lomi (25") for flopping.

2 November 2000
Papua New Guinea  16–0  South Africa
Try: Aila 25' (c)
Wilshere 31' (c)
Paiyo 52' (m)
Con: Wilshere (2/3)
Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
Attendance: 4,313
Referee: Darren Hopewell

5 November 2000
France  56–6  South Africa
Try: Cassin 8' (c)
Banquet 21' (c)
Cassin 35' (c)
Guisset 38' (c)
Jampy ?' (c)
Jampy ?' (c)
Jampy 53' (c)
Sirvent ?' (c)
Tallec ?' (c)
Con: Banquet (9/9)
Pen: Banquet (1/1) 18'
Try: de Villiers ?' (m)
Con: ? (0/1)
Pen: Bloem (1/1) ?'
Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
Attendance: 7,969
Referee: Steve Clark

6 November 2000
Papua New Guinea  30–22  Tonga
Try: Mondo 19' (c)
Gene 23' (m)
Buko 35' (c)
Karl ?' (m)
Gene ?' (c)
Con: Wiltshere (3/5)
Pen: Wiltshere (2/2) 5', 42'
Try: Moala 10' (c)
Mason 39' (c)
Moala ?' (m)
Vaikona ?' (m)
Con: Moala (2/2)
Pen: Moala (1/1) 7'
Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
Attendance: 3,666
Referee: Steve Ganson

Final standings

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Points
 Papua New Guinea 33006942276
 France 320110437674
 Tonga 31029676202
 South Africa 300324138−1140

Group 4


the opening match of the World Cup was accompanied by heavy rain. Samoa's Fred Petersen had to be stretchered off the field after suffering a blow to the head while making a tackle 15 minutes into the second half.[14]

, 28 October
Ireland  30–16  Samoa
Tries: Joynt, Ricketson, Eagar, Carney, Prescott.
Goals: Prescott 5
Tries: Leauma, Milford, Betham.
Goals: Geros 2.
Windsor Park, Belfast[15]
Attendance: 3,207
Referee: Tim Mander
Man of the Match: Barrie McDermott[16]

1. Steve Prescott, 2. Brian Carney, 3. Michael Withers, 4. Michael Eagar, 5. Forster, 6. Tommy Martyn, 7. Ryan Sheridan
8. O'Connor, 9. Williams, 10. Barrie McDermott, 11. Chris Joynt, 12. Campion, 13. Luke Ricketson
Substitutes: Bretherton, Lawless, Barnhill, Southern. Coach: Steve O'Neill

1. Loa Milford, 2. Brian Leauma, 3. Anthony Swann, 4. Gulavao, 5. Francis Meli, 6. Simon Geros, 7. Willie Swann
8. Puletua, 9. Monty Betham, 10. Seu Seu, 11. Solomona, 12. Fred Petersen, 13. Willie Poching
Substitutes: Tatupu, Kololo, Leafa, Faafili.

29 October 2000
Scotland  16–17  Aotearoa Māori
Tries: Penny, Maiden, Bell
Goals: Mackay, Crowther
Tries: Toopi 2, Kidwell
Goals: Ngamu 2
Drop Goals: Ngamu
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
Attendance: 2,008[17]
Referee: Stuart Cummings

Scotland: 1. Lee Penny, 2. Matt Daylight, 3. Graham Mackay, 4. Geoff Bell, 5. Lee Gilmour, 6. Andrew Purcell, 7. Richard Horne
8. Heckenberg, 9. Russell, 10. Laughton, 11. Scott Logan, 12. Cram, 13. Adrian Vowles.
Substitutes: David Maiden, Matt Crowther, Wayne McDonald, Shaw.
Coach: Shaun McRae

New Zealand Māori: 1. Clinton Toopi, 2. Manuell, 3. Kohe-Love, 4. David Kidwell, 5. Sean Hoppe, 6. Gene Ngamu, 7. H. Te Rangi
8. Rauhihi, 9. Perenara, 10. Terry Hermansson, 11. Koopu, 12. Tyran Smith, 13. Tawera Nikau.
Substitutes: Martin Moana, Leuluai, Nahi, Reihana.

Sin Bin: McDonald (40). Sin Bin: Nikau (40).

1 November 2000
Ireland  18–6  Scotland
Tolka Park, Dublin
Attendance: 1,782
Referee: Russell Smith

Scotland's loose forward, Adrian Vowles was sent to the sin bin midway through the second half for repeated off-side infringements Ireland:
1. Steve Prescott, 2. Brian Carney, 3. Martyn, 4. Eagar, 5. Herron, 6. Michael Withers, 7. Ryan Sheridan
8. O'Connor, 9. Lawless, 10. McDermott, 11. Joynt, 12. Kevin Campion, 13. Luke Ricketson.
Substitutes: Williams, Mathiou, Barnhill, Bradbury.

Scotland: 1. Danny Arnold, 2. Matt Daylight, 3. Lee Gilmour, 4. Bell, 5. Matt Crowther, 6. Horne, 7. Scott Rhodes
8. Heckenberg, 9. Russell, 10. Laughton, 11. Logan, 12. Cram, 13. Adrian Vowles.
Substitutes: Maiden, Graham, McDonald, Shaw.

1 November 2000
Samoa  21–16  Aotearoa Māori
Derwent Park, Workington
Attendance: 4,107
Referee: Bill Harrigan

4 November 2000
Ireland  30–16  Aotearoa Māori
Tolka Park, Dublin
Attendance: 3,164
Referee: Bill Harrigan

5 November 2000
Scotland  12–20  Samoa
Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 1,579
Referee: David Pakieto

Final standings

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Points
 Ireland 33007838406
 Samoa 32015758−14
 Aotearoa Māori 31024967−182
 Scotland 30033455−210

Knockout stage

11 November – Leeds
18 November – Bolton
12 November – Castleford
 New Zealand49
 New Zealand54
25 November – Manchester
 New Zealand12
11 November – Watford
19 November – Huddersfield
12 November – Widnes
 Papua New Guinea8


11 November 2000
Australia  66–10  Samoa
Vicarage Road, Watford
Attendance: 5,404
Referee: Stuart Cummings

11 November 2000
England  26–16  Ireland
Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds
Attendance: 15,405
Referee: Tim Mander
12 November 2000
New Zealand  54–6  France
The Jungle, Castleford
Attendance: 5,158
Referee: Bill Harrigan

12 November 2000
Wales  22–8  Papua New Guinea
Auto Quest Stadium, Widnes
Attendance: 5,211
Referee: David Pakieto


18 November 2000
New Zealand  49–6  England
Reebok Stadium, Bolton
Attendance: 16,032
Referee: Tim Mander

This was the England rugby league team's biggest ever loss.[18] By winning this match, New Zealand had again equaled their record for consecutive victories with five.

19 November 2000
Australia  46–22  Wales
McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield
Attendance: 8,114
Referee: Russell Smith

Wales became the first team in twelve months to score more than two tries against Australia.[19]


25 November 2000
Australia  40 – 12  New Zealand
Wendell Sailor (2)
Matt Gidley
Nathan Hindmarsh
Darren Lockyer
Brad Fittler
Trent Barrett
Mat Rogers (6/7)
[20] Tries:
Lesley Vainikolo
Tonie Carroll

Henry Paul (2/2)
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 44,329
Referee: Stuart Cummings
Man of the Match: Wendell Sailor
New Zealand
FB1 Darren Lockyer
LW2 Mat Rogers
LC3 Adam MacDougall
RC4 Matt Gidley
RW5 Wendell Sailor
FE6 Brad Fittler (c)
HB7 Brett Kimmorley
PR8 Shane Webcke
HK9 Andrew Johns
PR10 Robbie Kearns
SR11 Gorden Tallis
SR12 Bryan Fletcher
LF13 Scott Hill
IC14 Trent Barrett
IC15 Nathan Hindmarsh
IC16 Darren Britt
IC17 Jason Stevens
Chris Anderson
FB1 Richie Barnett (c)
RW2 Nigel Vagana
RC3 Tonie Carroll
LC4 Willie Talau
LW5 Lesley Vainikolo
FE6 Henry Paul
HB7 Stacey Jones
PR8 Craig Smith
HK9 Richard Swain
PR10 Quentin Pongia
SR11 Matt Rua
SR12 Stephen Kearney
LF13 Ruben Wiki
IC14 Robbie Paul
IC15 Joe Vagana
IC16 Nathan Cayless
IC17 Logan Swann
Frank Endacott

First half

Australia stepped on the gas from the kick-off, tearing into New Zealand at every opportunity. But the Kiwi defence stood firm, although they almost conceded after 22 minutes. Sailor looked to have scored the first try of the game after a burst down the right wing only for video referee Gerry Kershaw to rule that Stephen Kearney had prevented the Brisbane Broncos player from grounding the ball. The look of disbelief on Sailor's face was there for everyone to see, but he clearly did not let the decision affect his game. Three minutes later, his grubber kick was pounced on by Matt Gidley, who beat Kearney to the touch down. Rogers, assuming the kicking duties in place of the injured Ryan Girdler, landed the conversion to open up a 6–0 lead. New Zealand had few opportunities to go on the offensive, although they finished the first half strongly. But it was the favourites Australia who looked in control and deservedly went into the break in front.

Second half

The start of the second half was held up by the appearance of a male streaker. When play finally got under way, the tackles were just as ferocious as ever, neither side giving an inch. However Australia gained the edge when Brad Fittler split the defence with a pass to Nathan Hindmarsh, who scored from close range, bringing the score to 10–0. Rogers converted to make it 12–0. New Zealand were not about to throw in the towel and hit back almost immediately. Lesley Vainikolo pounced on a loose ball to dive over on 49 minutes, although the decision was again made by the video referee. When Henry Paul landed the conversion, the deficit was back down to six points. Soon after, Australian Halfback, Brett Kimmorley, made a break down the right before feeding the ball inside to fullback Darren Lockyer, who crossed for another try.[21] Rogers' third successful kick made it 18–6 to the defending champions. However, the Kiwis quickly struck back when Tonie Carroll beat several Australian defenders to score. Henry Paul's conversion made it 18–12.

New Zealand then made several crucial errors and Australia were able to capitalise. Sailor grabbed two tries in the space of five minutes to take his tally for the tournament to 10. The first of them came on 63 minutes courtesy of a reverse pass from Gidley. Rogers missed the second of the two quick conversions. Skipper Fittler then breached the New Zealand defence on 73 minutes to score his first try of the final which was converted by Rogers. Substitute Trent Barrett then finished the scoring, with a try that was converted by Rogers.

Try scorers



  1. Hadfield, Dave (20 April 1999). "World Cup to get pounds 1m backing". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  2. Wilson, Andy (26 October 2000). "Maori role-model army signal intent". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  3. news.bbc.co.uk (27 November 2000). "World Cup returns profit". BBC Sport Online. BBC. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
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