Australian coach Mal Meninga has declared the inaugural World Cup 9s a smashing success - and not just because his Kangaroos took out the title.
Meninga lauded the entertainment value of the tournament and echoed the comments of England mentor Wayne Bennett earlier this week in urging the game to persist with the modified format on the international stage.
"I think it can only get better. We have small steps and hopefully this is the start of it all," Meninga said.
"The players, we consider it a bit of pioneering for the Nines. I thought it worked really well and I honestly believe it's a showpiece for expressing ourselves and rugby league around the world."
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Meninga would like to see the World Cup 9s taken on the road in the future, tossing up England as a potential host.
"It'd be nice in the northern hemisphere. We've got a Kangaroo tour next year and a World Cup [in 2021] in the northern hemisphere as well. As long as the concept keeps on going," he said.
Australia cruised through undefeated to ultimately lift the trophy on Saturday night, with Mitchell Moses taking home Man of the Tournament honours and Broncos tearaway David Fifita also playing a starring role.
While acknowledging the fun of the modified game, Meninga said it was imperative that every Kangaroo representative gave it their all.
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"You come to these tournaments, you want to win it. We've got a bit of pride in the green and gold jersey. I'm really happy for the players, they deserve it," he said.
"There is an expectation if someone puts a green and gold jersey on and we understand all that. I thought they represented the Kangaroos jersey really well throughout the Nines and the PM's XIII concept just recently as well in Fiji."
As for what makes a perfect Nines player, Meninga seemed to describe 19-year-old Fifita to a tee.
"If you've got mobility, speed and size that certainly helps," he said.
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"You've got to have a big motor, you've got to be able to play long minutes."
With unlimited substitutes, making replacements during matches wasn't an easy task.
Meninga reckons Australia got it bang on - and the new trophy in their possession backs that up.
"We didn't burn them out too much," Meninga said.
"They always had a little bit of energy left in them when they came back on the footy field."