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World Cup final player ratings

Every player rated from Australia's 34-2 win over New Zealand in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup final.

AUSTRALIA

1. Billy Slater: Fitness was questionable right up to kick off, but answered in the best way possible by scoring two tries, which could've been four save for some illegal defence that resulted in two penalty goals for Australia. A truly redemptive performance, given the heartbreak of 2008. 8.5

2. Brett Morris: Finished off an amazing try set up by a quick-thinking kick by Jarryd Hayne, but was hurt by the signage behind the ridiculously short in-goals. Scored another supporting Hayne's 80-metre intercept. 8

3. Greg Inglis: Unusually quiet performance, making less metres than Johnathan Thurston! 6.5

4. Jarryd Hayne: Sent an almighty scare in the Kangaroos camp early on, struggling to get to his feet after a tackle on Simon Mannering, but showed great courage to comeback and deliver arguably the performance of the tournament. Set up two tries, including an 80-metre intercept, and ran a game-high 160 metres. 9.5

5. Darius Boyd: Excellent wingman's display, positioning himself for two line breaks and having a hand in two tries. 7.5

6. Johnathan Thurston: His conversion for the Cooper Cronk try saw him overtake Mick Cronin as the highest ever pointscorer in international rugby league. Involved in two tries and had another flawless night in front of the sticks, kicking seven from seven. 8.5

7. Cooper Cronk: Had an outstanding try controversially stolen in the first half, but scored one not long after in similar fashion, showing great awareness to support play in-field. 7.5

8. Matt Scott: A typically understated, but certainly not insignificant, performance from the game's premier front-rower. Made 142 metres from 12 hit-ups and 25 tackles in an error-free outing. 8

9. Cameron Smith: Provided yet another lesson in ruck control, and his kicking out of dummy half was more accurate than Wayne Rooney's free kicks on the same ground. Also contributed a game-high 45 tackles. 8

10. James Tamou: Not the powerhouse display we're used to seeing, but handed in a faultless day's work nonetheless. 7

11. Greg Bird: Set the Kangaroos' defensive tone early with some ferocious hits, including one that'll haunt Kevin Locke for a while. 7 

12. Sam Thaiday: His runs on the right edge proved more of a handful than that frizzy hair, and he added 31 tackles to boot. 7

13. Paul Gallen: Produced his trademark workhorse performance, making a game-high 20 carries for 152 metres and 29 tackles. 7.5

14. Daly Cherry-Evans: Came on for the final 20 minutes and by then the Aussies were just letting the ball sing. 6

15. Josh Papalii: There were shades of Matt Gidley or, dare we say it, Sonny Bill Williams in his flick pass to Boyd for a sensational second-half try. 7

16. Andrew Fifita: Definitely not his best game of the campaign, coming up with three errors and two penalties, including a two-minute period where he was pinged for being a driver on Cronk's no-try before a turnover in their next set. 6

17. Corey Parker: Took full advantage of Australia's dominance in possession, running 117 metres from 12 carries. 7
   

NEW ZEALAND

1. Kevin Locke: Found himself cornered more times than fifty cent coin, and now knows how every NSW fullback feels. 6.5

2. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck: Came off injured after his first hit-up, severely denting New Zealand's hopes and ruining an outstanding individual year. 2

3. Dean Whare: Forced to the wing following Tuivasa-Sheck's injury, and only touched the ball running out of dummy half. 6.5

4. Bryson Goodwin: Had his hands full keeping tabs on opposition centre Hayne. Invisible in attack. 5.5

5. Manu Vatuvei: How he didn't dislocate his shoulder landing heavily into the signage is beyond us. Had a real dig, making a team-high 148 metres and three tackle busts, but unfortunately was on his own. 7

6. Kieran Foran: Gifted Australia two points early for his bump on a bomb-chasing Slater, and then couldn't find a way through their impenetrable wall. 6

7. Shaun Johnson: Suffocated on fifth tackle options due to an attack that never got on the front foot. 5.5

8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves: Was dominated early on by the fast-paced Australian pack and never really caught up to the speed of the game. 5.5

9. Issac Luke: Well-contained by a defensive unit that dominated most of the tackles during the match. Barely had an opportunity to sniff, let alone gobble up dummy-half metres. 6

10. Jesse Bromwich: His mistake on the third tackle of the match put New Zealand on the back foot and they never recovered. 6

11. Simon Mannering: Ran 72 metres and made 33 tackles but rarely threatened. 6

12. Sonny Bill Williams: Made a team-high five offloads and three tackle busts, but also came up with four errors. Tried hard but didn't have enough support to sustain pressure. 7

13. Elijah Taylor: Worked hard for his team-high 42 tackles, but did nothing with the ball. 6.5

14. Frank-Paul Nuuausala: Had a handful of tough runs, but had little overall impact. 6

15. Sam Kasiano: Did well – 88 metres and three offloads – with the limited minutes he played . 6.5 

16. Ben Matulino: Solid off the bench, registering 89 metres and 27 tackles, but most of it was coming out of his own end. 6.5

17. Alex Glenn: Came on early after the injury to Tuivasa-Sheck but only touched the ball five times. 5.5

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