2000 Rugby League World Cup Final

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2000 (2000) Rugby League World Cup Final  ()
12 Total
AUS Australian colours.svg 634 40
NZL New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg 012 12
Date 25 November 2000
Stadium Old Trafford
Location Manchester, England
Referees Stuart Cummings England
Attendance 44,329
Broadcast partners
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The 2000 Rugby League World Cup final was the conclusive game of the 2000 Rugby League World Cup tournament and was played between Australia and New Zealand on November 25, 2000 at Old Trafford, Manchester, England.


The 2000 Rugby League World Cup was the twelfth staging of the Rugby League World Cup since its inauguration in 1954, and the first since the 1995 tournament. The tournament was held in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France from 28 October, culminating in the final between Australia and New Zealand on 25 November.

Old Trafford in Manchester hosted the World Cup Final


Scores and results list Australia's points tally first.
Opposing Team For Against Date Venue Attendance Stage
 England 22 2 28 October Twickenham Stadium, London 33,758 Group Stage
 Fiji 66 8 1 November Gateshead International Stadium, Gateshead 4,197 Group Stage
 Russia 110 4 4 November The Boulevard, Hull 3,044 Group Stage
 Samoa 66 10 11 November Vicarage Road, Watford 5,404 Quarter-final
 Wales 46 22 19 November McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield 8,114 Semi-final

Australia were undefeated going into the final. Their 110-4 win over Russia set a new world record test match score.

New Zealand[edit]

Scores and results list New Zealand's points tally first.
Opposing Team For Against Date Venue Attendance Stage
 Lebanon 64 0 29 October Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester 2,496 Group Stage
 Cook Islands 84 10 2 November Madejski Stadium, Reading 3,982 Group Stage
 Wales 58 18 5 November Millennium Stadium, Cardiff 17,612 Group Stage
 France 56 4 12 November The Jungle, Castleford 5,158 Quarter-final
 England 49 6 18 November Reebok Stadium, Bolton 16,032 Semi-final

Like Australia, New Zealand were also undefeated going into the Final


In a high-scoring final at Old Trafford, the Kangaroos overwhelmed their Trans-Tasman opponents. Wendell Sailor scored 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.

Match details[edit]

New Zealand second rower Stephen Kearney became the most capped forward in New Zealand test match history playing in his 36th test.

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)
[1] Tries:
Lesley Vainikolo
Tonie Carroll

Henry Paul (2/2)
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 44,329
Referee: Stuart Cummings England
Man of the Match: Wendell Sailor Australian colours.svg
Australia Posit. New Zealand
Darren Lockyer FB Richie Barnett (c)
Mat Rogers WG Nigel Vagana
Adam MacDougall CE Tonie Carroll
Matt Gidley CE Willie Talau
Wendell Sailor WG Lesley Vainikolo
Brad Fittler (c) SO Henry Paul
Brett Kimmorley SH Stacey Jones
Shane Webcke PR Craig Smith
Andrew Johns HK Richard Swain
Robbie Kearns PR Quentin Pongia
Gorden Tallis SR Matt Rua
Bryan Fletcher SR Stephen Kearney
Scott Hill LF Ruben Wiki
Trent Barrett Res Robbie Paul
Nathan Hindmarsh Res Joe Vagana
Darren Britt Res Nathan Cayless
Jason Stevens Res Logan Swann
Chris Anderson Coach Frank Endacott

First half[edit]

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[edit]

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.[2] 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.


  1. ^ Report
  2. ^ Burke, David (26 November 2000). "Hello Sailor; Australia 40 New Zealand 12". Sunday Mirror, The. MGN Ltd.