Rugby League World Cup | The closest of margins frequently characterize the greatest games between the greatest teams. And as any supporter of New Zealand would painstakingly point out, it proved to be the case here in the pivotal moments of this trans-Tasman classic.

The main claim is that this ended up being the way the game usually does. Australia has only failed to advance to the Rugby League World Cup Final once, and that was during the first competition in 1954. However, it was a record that genuinely appeared to be in jeopardy throughout an incredible semi-final.

New Zealand contributed much to a classic. They could believe they had a better chance of winning. They believed they had scored tries on two different occasions in the second half, which may have terminated the Kangaroos’ tenure as world champions.

But painful margins prevented them from winning on both occasions. First, during a play that resulted in Peta Hiku scoring, Jordan Rapana was just slightly offside.

They would have had a two-score advantage had that been allowed, but it was not. Hiku then participated once again in the frantic dying seconds by grounding a kick from Dylan Brown. However, Hiku grounded the ball just inches short of giving New Zealand a chance to go to the World Cup final.

Michael Maguire

Rugby League World Cup | The coach of New Zealand, who lost, remarked, “That was one hell of a game and it was one bounce of a ball.” “A Test match is all about it. However, I’m exhausted for my players. These kinds of chances are seldom against a squad of this calibre. You will receive punishment if you refuse to take them.

Mal Meninga, the head coach of Australia, said: “That was rugby in a Test match. Everything except the kitchen sink was thrown at us by New Zealand. It did a terrific job of promoting the game. Here, his team trailed for considerable stretches but came through a great struggle.

That includes at the break, when the Kiwis had a 14-10 advantage. Prior to Australia‘s world-class try, Jahrome Hughes’ try broke the tie. Ben Hunt’s cross-field kick was claimed on the full by the sensational Josh Addo-Carr, who outran Rapana for his 12th try of the competition.