2000 Rugby League World Cup
|Number of teams||16|
|Host countries|| United Kingdom
|Winner||Australia (9th title)|
|Attendance||263,921 (8,514 per match)|
|Top scorer||Mat Rogers (70)|
|Top try scorer||Wendell Sailor (10)|
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 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 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 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. The tournament's organisers also attracted criticisim 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; 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 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:
- Australia - coached by Chris Anderson and captained by Brad Fittler
- Cook Islands - coached by Stan Martin and captained by Kevin Iro
- England - coached by John Kear and captained by Andy Farrell
- Fiji - coached by Don Furner, Sr. and captained by Lote Tuqiri
- France - coached by Gilles Dumas and captained by Fabien Devecchi
- Ireland - coached by Steve O'Neill and Andy Kelly and captained by Terry O'Connor
- Lebanon - coached by John Elias and captained by Darren Marroon
- New Zealand - coached by Frank Endacott and captained by Richie Barnett
- Aotearoa Māori - coached by Cameron Bell and captained by Tawera Nikau
- Papua New Guinea - coached by Bob Bennett and captained by Adrian Lam
- Russia - coached by Evgeniy Klebanov and captained by Ian Rubin
- Samoa - coached by Darrell Williams and captained by Willie Poching
- Scotland - coached by Shaun McRae and captained by Andrew Purcell
- South Africa - coached by Paul Matete and captained by Jamie Bloem
- Tonga - coached by Murray Hurst and captained by Martin Masella
- Wales - coached by Clive Griffiths and captained by Iestyn Harris
18:30, 28 October
|England||2 – 22||Australia|
|Pen: Farrell||Try: Sailor (2),
Con: Rogers (3/4)
1. Kris Radlinski, 2. Leon Pryce, 3. Scott Naylor, 4. Keith Senior, 5. Chev Walker, 6. Tony Smith, 7. Sean Long
8. Harvey Howard, 9. Paul Rowley, 10. Stuart Fielden, 11. Adrian Morley, 12. Mike Forshaw, 13. Andy Farrell.
Substitutes: 14. Paul Wellens, 15. Kevin Sinfield, 16. Darren Fleary, 17. Paul Anderson.
Coach: John Kear
1. Darren Lockyer, 2. Mat Rogers, 3. Ryan Girdler, 4. Matt Gidley, 5. Wendell Sailor, 6. Brad Fittler, 7. Brett Kimmorley
8. Shane Webcke, 9. Andrew Johns, 10. Robbie Kearns, 11. Gorden Tallis, 12. Bryan Fletcher, 13. Scott Hill.
Substitutes: 14. Adam MacDougall, 15. Jason Croker, 16. Darren Britt, 17. Jason Stevens
15:00, 29 October
|Fiji||38 – 12||Russia|
|Try: Vunivalu (3),
Con: Tuqiri (5/7)
Con: Jiltsov (1/1)
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. Atunaisa 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.
|Australia||66 – 8||Fiji|
|Try: Rogers (4),
Con: Rogers (9/12)
|Try: Cakacaka (m),
Con: ? (0/2)
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. Vunivalu.
Substitutes: Tokarei, Navugona, Takayawa, Wawavamia.
|England||76 – 4||Russia|
|Try: Sinfield (3),
Jamie Peacock (2),
Con: Farrell (5),
|Pen: Mitrofanov (2)|
|England||66 – 10||Fiji|
|Try: Jamie Peacock (3),
Con: Farrell (9/12)
|Try: Tuqiri (m),
Con: Vunivalu (1/2)
|Australia||110 – 4||Russia|
|Try: Sailor (4),
Con: Girdler (17/19)
Con: ? (0/1)
14:30, 29 October
|New Zealand||64 – 0||Lebanon|
|Try: Jones (2),
Con: Jones (6),
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.
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.
18:45, 29 October
|Wales||38 – 6||Cook Islands|
|Try: Tassell (3),
Con: Harris (6/6)
Pen.: Harris (1/1)
Con: Piakura (1/1)
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.
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.
|New Zealand||84 – 10||Cook Islands|
|Try: Vaealiki (2),
Con: Lavea (12/15)
Con: Piakura (1/2)
|Wales||24 – 22||Lebanon|
|Try: Harris (2),
Con: Harris (2/5)
|Try: Saleh (2),
Con: El Masri (3/4)
|Cook Islands||22 – 22||Lebanon|
|Try: Berryman (2),
Con: Berryman (2)
|Try: El Masri (2),
Con: El Masri (3/4)
|Wales||18 – 58||New Zealand|
Con: Harris (3/3)
|Try: Vainikolo (3),
Con: Paul (5)
15:00, 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.
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: Mom, Alex Krewanty, Norman, Mondo.
This was the first match of a double-header in Paris for the opening round.
17:00, 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)
|Try: Breytenbach 17' (m)
Barnard ?' (c)
Best ?' (c)
Con: ? (0/1)
Pen: O'Shea (1/1)
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.
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
14:00, 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)
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.
Tries: Banquet, Sirvent, Dulac, Garcia, Jampy. Goals: Banquet 4.
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.
|Papua New Guinea||16 – 0||South Africa|
|Try: Aila 25' (c)
Wilshere 31' (c)
Paiyo 52' (m)
Con: Wilshere (2/3)
|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) ?'
|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'
|Papua New Guinea||3||3||0||0||69||42||27||6|
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.
15:00, 28 October
|Tries: Joynt, Ricketson, Eagar, Carney, Prescott.
Goals: Prescott 5
|Tries: Leauma, Milford, Betham.
Goals: Geros 2.
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.
|Tries: Penny, Maiden, Bell
Goals: Mackay, Crowther
|Tries: Toopi 2, Kidwell
Goals: Ngamu 2
Drop Goals: Ngamu
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
Sin Bin: McDonald (40).
New Zealand Maoris: 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: Nikau (40).
Scotland's loose forward, Adrian Vowles was sent to the sin bin mid-way 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.
|11 November - Leeds|
|18 November - Bolton|
|12 November - Castleford|
|25 November - Manchester|
|11 November - Watford|
|19 November - Huddersfield|
|12 November - Widnes|
|Papua New Guinea||8|
|Wales||22–8||Papua New Guinea|
This was the England rugby league team's biggest ever loss.
Wales became the first team in twelve months to score more than two tries against Australia.
|Darren Lockyer||1. FB||Richie Barnett|
|Mat Rogers||2. WG||Nigel Vagana|
|Adam MacDougall||3. CE||Tonie Carroll|
|Matt Gidley||4. CE||Willie Talau|
|Wendell Sailor||5. WG||Lesley Vainikolo|
|Brad Fittler (c)||6. FE/SO||Henry Paul|
|Brett Kimmorley||7. HB/SH||Stacey Jones|
|Shane Webcke||8. PR||Craig Smith|
|Andrew Johns||9. HK||Richard Swain|
|Robbie Kearns||10. PR||Quentin Pongia|
|Gorden Tallis||11. SR||Matt Rua|
|Bryan Fletcher||12. SR||Stephen Kearney (c)|
|Scott Hill||13. LF||Ruben Wiki|
|Trent Barrett||14. Bench||Robbie Paul|
|Nathan Hindmarsh||15. Bench||Joe Vagana|
|Darren Britt||16. Bench||Nathan Cayless|
|Jason Stevens||17. Bench||Logan Swann|
|Chris Anderson||Coach||Frank Endacott|
In a high-scoring final at Old Trafford, the Kangaroos overwhelmed the spirited challenge of their Trans-Tasman opponents, who had been tipped by some to cause an upset. Wendell Sailor put in a strong performance with two tries and Mat Rogers had a near-perfect afternoon with the boot as the Australians ran out 40-12 winners and were crowned world champions for a sixth successive time.
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 the video official 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.
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. 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 cruical 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.
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