James Tedesco pinpointed the "special bond" within the Australia squad as the driving factor for Saturday's Rugby League World Cup triumph.

Australia captain Tedesco crossed over for two tries, as did Latrell Mitchell, in a 30-10 victory over Samoa as the Kangaroos cruised to a 12th world crown at Old Trafford.

The Australians have won their last 19 matches on English soil in the competition, in which they have reached every final since 1957, and Tedesco lauded the unity between his side after victory.

"It is pretty unbelievable. This group of blokes came over here six or seven weeks ago and we've got such a special bond," he told BBC Sport.

"COVID-19 has killed us for three years, not being able to play for our country, but we came here early and got along straight away.

"We created that connection from the start and wanted to work hard for each other."

Samoa missed the chance for a second-half fightback after Angus Crichton was fortunate to only be sin-binned for a high tackle on Chanel Harris-Tavita.

Cameron Murray extended the lead despite the one-man disadvantage as late tries for Brian To'o and Stephen Crichton proved a mere consolation for Samoa, who were playing in their first World Cup final.

Australia head coach Mal Meninga says he never had any doubts his side would hold off Samoa's advances to secure more silverware.

"It's fantastic. It's one of those games and you sit up there," Meninga said. The first half was expectational, we did what we needed to do.

"In the second half we scrambled well, a man down but we still scored points. It's what you do, you work for each other. I wasn't nervous, I'm confident in this footy team.

"Defensively, we only had 12 against a Samoa side who threw everything, I was still comfortable."

Meninga hailed the "exceptional" Tedesco as a "worthy man of the match" before praising the togetherness of his World Cup-winning side.

"They're committed to each other. There is respect and humility for our jersey, for the opposition," he added.

"We brought our best game tonight. We've had a long year but have been rewarded for effort tonight. What a way to finish our 2022 season."

Australia captain James Tedesco scored two tries as the Kangaroos cruised to their 12th Rugby League World Cup crown with a 30-10 victory over Samoa on Saturday.

The Australians had little difficulty in sweeping aside their opponents, who were playing in their first final after beating hosts England to reach the trophy match.

Latrell Mitchell crashed over after 14 minutes before Tedesco and Liam Martin – the latter after a video review – added tries in a prosperous first half for Australia at Old Trafford.

Nathan Cleary only added the extras to one of those first-half tries, though, before Angus Crichton was fortunate to only be sin-binned for a high tackle on Chanel Harris-Tavita after the interval.

Cleary found Cameron Murray to extend 12-man Australia's lead before a delicate Josh Addo-Carr kick teed up Crichton, though the video referee ruled out the try after the latter failed to ground the ball.

Brian To'o finally responded for Samoa with 20 minutes remaining, but any hopes of a fightback were stifled when Tedesco broke through for his second score.

Stephen Crichton managed a late consolation before Mitchell bundled over for his second try, as Australia eased to a 19th straight World Cup match win on English soil to secure more silverware.

Stephen Crichton kicked the decisive drop-goal as Samoa made Rugby League World Cup history, beating England 27-26 after golden point extra time to reach the final.

Samoa were underdogs having lost 66-6 to England in the tournament opener, but held a 10-6 lead at the break after first-half tries from Tim Lafai and Ligi Sao, with Elliott Whitehead scoring for England

Tommy Makinson dotted down under the posts after a Samoa error handling a kick and gave England the lead with his conversion, but a sensational move featuring slick handling from Jarome Luai and Junior Paulo sent Crichton over for Samoa.

Lafai doubled his tally after more excellent ball handling, but Herbie Farnworth barged over before John Bateman's try levelled matters. Crichton's interception score looked to have won it for Samoa, only for Farnworth's second try after a George Williams break and Makinson's conversion to force sudden death.

England lost all composure in the extra period, though, and Crichton was fittingly the hero with a superb kick as Samoa became the first side other than Australia, New Zealand or Great Britain to reach the final since the tournament expanded beyond four teams. They will face the Kangaroos in next Saturday's final.

Reigning champions Australia edged Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand 16-14 in a thrilling contest at Elland Road on Friday to reach the Rugby League World Cup final.

Australia trailed 14-10 at the interval in Leeds, but Cameron Murray crossed over for the only try in the second half and the Kangaroos held on for a nervy victory.

New Zealand entered the tournament as top seeds and lived up to that billing when Jahrome Hughes crossed over in the 11th minute after being picked out by Joey Manu.

But Australia, who have not lost a World Cup match since 2008, responded five minutes later through Josh Addo-Carr's 12th try of the tournament.

Jordan Rapana's penalty had the Kiwis back in front, only for their opponents to again hit back thanks to Valentine Holmes, who dotted down in the corner.

Dylan Brown chased down Ronaldo Mulitalo's pass to give New Zealand the half-time lead, which they would have extended if not for Peta Hiku's try being ruled out. 

Australia used that scare to their advantage as Murray capitalised on some sloppy defending to power through in the 53rd minute, with Nathan Cleary adding the crucial extras.

No further points followed, with Hiku having a late try chalked off and Australia holding firm to reach yet another final, where either England or Samoa await on November 19.

New Zealand benefited from a controversial penalty en route to a 24-18 defeat of Fiji after rallying to avoid a repeat of their quarter-final exit to the Bati at the previous Rugby League World Cup.

The Kiwis booked a mammoth last-four meeting with defending champions Australia but only after staring down another shock loss to Fiji in Hull.

The sole previous meeting between the sides had also come in the quarters five years ago, with New Zealand on the end of a 4-2 upset.

It quickly became clear this would not be another low-scoring affair, albeit only because Fiji raced into a 12-0 lead with a pair of superb tries from Maika Sivo and Kevin Naiqama.

Even when Ronaldo Mulitalo got the world's top-ranked side on the board, Naiqama ran in again after half-time to restore the underdogs' advantage.

But the Bati could not hold out, with Briton Nikora's response followed by a levelling try from Joseph Manu with 18 minutes to play.

Manu was involved again in the game's decisive moment as Fiji were harshly punished for a supposed strip that allowed Jordan Rapana to kick a penalty, putting New Zealand in front for the first time before the same man added a try at the death.

England made light work of Papua New Guinea, cruising to a 46-6 quarter-final victory in the Rugby League World Cup on Saturday.

Australia became the first team to make the final four with a 48-4 defeat of Lebanon on Friday and the tournament hosts also had little trouble in casting aside their last-eight opponents in Wigan.

Tommy Makinson was the star man, going over five times, matching Josh Adda-Carr's haul for Australia against Lebanon, while also adding 10 points with the boot.

With the Princess of Wales watching from the stands, England scored four tries in the first 27 minutes – Tom Burgess, Dom Young, Kallum Watkins and George Williams also going over.

Jimmy Ngutlik grabbed a consolation for Papua New Guinea midway through the second half, but the day belong to Makinson, and he fittingly crossed for his record-setting try late on, becoming the first England player to score five times in a World Cup match.

Emirates Stadium will be the venue for England's semi-final, with Tonga or Samoa their opponents.

Australia brushed aside minnows Lebanon 48-4 to take their place in the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals.

Inspired by Josh Addo-Carr's five tries, Australia never offered up any chance of an upset at the John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield.

Not that the reigning world champions were at their very best, though Lebanon – whose coach Michael Cheika will be switching codes to take charge of Argentina against England on Sunday – only managed to capitalise once, with Josh Mansour going over in the second half.

Addo-Carr's 19-minute hat-trick had Australia way ahead, with Latrell Mitchell's try and a double from Cameron Murray nudging Mal Meninga's team to 30-0 up by the interval.

Australia's star man Addo-Carr had his fourth early in the second half, and was on hand to take his tally for the tournament to 11 after Mansour had snatched a consolation for Lebanon.

Liam Martin barged in to round off the scoring for Australia, who were unable to push on and reach the 50-point mark.

Next up for Australia is a last-four encounter with Fiji or New Zealand, convincing winners of Group C, at Elland Road.

Head coach of Jamaica Rugby League World Cup team Romeo Monteith said he is “good” with how the team performed at the World Cup in Birmingham, England notwithstanding the Reggae Warriors’ three lop-sided losses in the competition.

Playing in their very first Rugby League World Cup, Jamaica were beaten 48-2 by Ireland on October 16 and 68-6 by New Zealand on October 22. They concluded their maiden world cup appearance with a 74-12 drubbing at the hands of Lebanon.

Monteith, however, remains optimistic about the team’s progress and believes the team will continue to get better as it begins preparations for the next qualification process in November 2023.

Overall I’m good with the team’s performance,” he told Sportsmax.TV.

“As a coaching staff, we spoke to the players about effort and I think in each game there was plenty effort from us as a collective. Of course, the results didn’t go our way and we wanted to put more points on the board and get a win or two.”

The reality, Monteith explained, is that Jamaica’s Rugby League development is still in its infancy and it will take time and resources to bridge the gap between the Reggae Warriors and the best teams in the world.

“At the end of the day, our squad had two full-time players and the other three teams had either all full timers or at least half as full time,” he said.

“It’s extremely difficult to bridge that gap; over 80 minutes the difference in conditioning will show. What we can control is our effort, output when faced with such quality and that’s what we will continue to work on as we can control that. For the next qualification journey, I think we have enough experience and know how to put ourselves in a good position to qualify.”

He said Jamaica Rugby League will do a review of the campaign, identify areas to strengthen and implement whatever change is needed as the Reggae Warriors head into 2023.

 

 

Australia rounded off their Rugby League World Cup group campaign with another rout, this time crushing Italy 66-6 on Saturday.

The defending world champions have made light work of each of their assignments in Group B and ran in 12 tries against Italy at John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield.

Six of them came in the first half as Valentine Holmes, James Tedesco, Campbell Graham, Latrell Mitchell and Murray Taulagi all went over, the latter claiming a double in the opening period.

There was no let-up from the Kangaroos after the break as Isaah Yeo, Liam Martin, Cameron Murray, Jeremiah Nanai and Lindsay Collins crossed, with Graham joining Taulagi in registering a brace.

Ronny Palumbo's try ensured Italy did get on the scoreboard, but they bow out after finishing third in Group B above only Scotland.

Australia progress having scored 192 points and conceded 14. As Group B winners, they will face either Lebanon or Ireland in the last eight, a prospective semi-final with England likely their biggest barrier to a return to the final.

The 11-time winners are on a 15-game victorious streak in the tournament and have reached every final save for the inaugural tournament held in 1954.

Dom Young starred as England secured top spot in their Rugby League World Cup group with a record 94-4 victory over Greece at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

The tournament hosts had already been assured of a place in the quarter-finals after beating Samoa and France in their first two matches.

But coach Shaun Wane wanted to put on a show and his side did so in Sheffield with 17 tries, Young responsible for four of those to climb to the top of the competition scoring chart.

The first of Young's tries arrived shortly after Matty Lees had opened the scoring, but Siteni Taukamo responded for World Cup debutants Greece, who have lost all three games.

England soon pulled away as Young crossed over three more times before half-time, and Ryan Hall, Tom Burgess and captain George Williams also dotted down.

The second half proved even more one-sided, with Marc Sneyd finding the chalk twice in quick succession, before Burgess and Hall doubled their personal counts.

Greece could not stem the tide on their way out of the tournament as Joe Batchelor, Andy Ackers (two), debutant Kai Pearce-Paul and Mike McMeeken rounded off England's biggest win in a Rugby World Cup.

Jahrome Hughes put on a show as New Zealand won Rugby League World Cup Group C by hammering Ireland 48-10 at Headingley on Friday.

Hughes scored two and set up three of the Kiwis' 10 tries as they ended the group stage with a perfect record and are expected to face Fiji at the quarter-final stage.

Slippery halfback Hughes, making his World Cup debut after recovering from a thigh strain, ghosted in for an opening solo try after Ed Chamberlain's penalty put Ireland in front and his pinpoint kick put one of a plate for Jordan Rapana.

Peta Hiku's quickfire double extended the Kiwis' advantage following a Louis Senior intercept try at the other end and Ronaldo Mulitalo's four-pointer made it 24-6 at half-time.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was perhaps lucky to avoid a red card for a high tackle on James Bentley late in that frantic first half.

New Zealand were not at their brilliant best, but Rapana and Hughes helped themselves to doubles, with James Fisher-Harris, Kenny Bromwich and Joseph Manu also crossing in the second half.

Senior pounced on a mistake to become the joint-leading try-scorer in the tournament with six as Ireland showed plenty of fight, but are on the brink of elimination with Lebanon poised to move into the last eight.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scored four tries as New Zealand hammered Jamaica 68-6 to reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby League World Cup.

The rampant Kiwis scored 11 tries in a ruthless display in Hull on Saturday to ensure they will advance from Group C, while Ben Jones-Bishop made history by scoring the Reggae Warriors' first ever World Cup try.

Watene-Zelezniak had a hat-trick in the opening 19 minutes as World Cup debutants Jamaica were outclassed, the winger capitalising on slack defending.

Peta Hiku also touched down on the right 10 minutes in, with Marata Niukore slipping through to add the Kiwis' fifth try before debutant Sebastian Kris and Jeremy Marshall-King got in the act to give them a 34-0 half-time lead, Kieran Foran only able to convert three of the seven first-half scores.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Briton Nikora and Marshall-King added further tries as New Zealand continued to dominate.

Clinical wing Watene-Zelezniak touched down again and took his tally to 20 points with a couple of conversions before Brandon Smith helped himself to a double.

There was a special moment in the closing stages, when the experienced Jones-Bishop pounced on a loose ball to score in the 300th game of his career, putting his name in the history books.

England cruised into the quarter-finals of the Rugby League World Cup with a 42-18 win over France in Bolton.

The tournament hosts produced a statement of intent in the opening game last week, thrashing a well-fancied Samoa side 60-6.

Shaun Wane's men did not have it as easy this time, with France going into half-time just 18-12 behind after they responded to a double from Ryan Hall and a Luke Thompson score with tries from Arthur Mourgue and Eloi Pelissier.

But the fightback was quelled emphatically in the second half.

John Bateman sent Elliott Whitehead over before Victor Radley dotted down from an Andy Ackers grubber kick.

A double from winger Dom Young made the final score more impressive, his second a length-of-the-field interception try that sealed England's progression to the knockout rounds in style.

Arthur Romano had the final say with a consolation for France, whose hopes of going through to the last eight will almost certainly hinge on them beating Samoa a week on Sunday.

England finish their group stage campaign against tournament debutants Greece a day earlier.

Josh Addo-Carr scored four tries and Campbell Graham claimed a hat-trick as Australia dished out an 84-0 Rugby League World Cup thrashing to Scotland.

The rampant holders made it two Group B wins out of two, running in 15 tries to claim victory by their second-biggest margin ever on a miserable Friday in Coventry for Scotland.

Australia showed no mercy on the Bravehearts as they equalled their own record of 14 consecutive World Cup wins, Addo-Carr following up his double in the win over Fiji with an early score before Jack Wighton, Angus Crichton and Graham crossed.

Fragile Scotland were unable to live with the relentless Kangaroos, who had 44 points on the board at half-time after the rapid Addo-Carr raced from his own half to score, Wighton touched down again and Nathan Cleary helped himself to a debut try.

There was no let-up from the tournament favourites after the break, Addo-Carr and Graham completing their trebles after Ben Hunt and James Tedesco went over.

Matt Burton also scored a debut try and set up Addo-Carr for the try of the night in the closing stages with an incredible pass, while Isaah Yeo got in on the act with a score and the excellent Cleary finished with a 28-point haul in a ruthless rout.

New Zealand started their Rugby League World Cup campaign with a hard-fought 34-12 victory against Lebanon on Sunday.

The world's number one side were made to sweat on occasion at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington, and surprisingly fell behind to their Group C opponents inside the first minute when Josh Mansour raced onto a loose ball on the right to score.

The Kiwis were soon level when Kenneth Bromwich went over, before substitute Nelson Asofa-Solomona got his side ahead despite some excellent defensive work from Lebanon, with Peta Hiku adding another shortly after to give New Zealand an 18-6 lead at the break.

The Cedars would not go away, though, and scored their second try to halve the deficit shortly after the restart as Abbas Miski went over down the left side.

After a further scare, the Kiwis took charge as terrific work from Manu ended with Dylan Brown racing through to score, before Manu again showed his quality to get a try of his own before the hour.

Jordan Rapana then added another just after Lebanon's Adam Doueihi was sent off for dissent.

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