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Tedesco secures man-of-the-match as Australia wins the World Cup

OLD TRAFFORD – Captain James Tedesco turned in a two-try man-of-the-match performance as Australia clinched its 12th Rugby League World Cup title and its third in a row with a convincing 30-10 victory over a brave Samoa at Old Trafford overnight.

Australia’s Jillaroos had earlier set the scene for a big night of green and gold celebrations taking out the women’s World Cup with a stunning 54-4 win over New Zealand who had pushed them 10-8 in a round clash a week ago.

It wasn’t a final for the ages but Australia was always in control from Latrell Mitchell’s opening in the 13th minute to his second in the 80th minute.
Tedesco was inspirational scoring twice in the 17th and 68th minutes, involving and imposing himself at every opportunity to lead Australia to victory.
Samoa was brave, but a run of injuries and a tough campaign took its toll in the final, although they never stopped trying.

It took Samoa 60 minutes to break Australia’s defence which had been clearly the best in the tournament when Penrith powerhouse winger Brian To’o dived over after a brilliant three-man cut-out pass by Jahrome Luai.

Intercept specialist Stephen Crichton plucked the ball out of the air for Samoa’s second try in the 70th minute but the margin of 26-10 was too great.
Victorious coach Mal Meninga was full of praise for his players and especially his captain Tedesco after clinching another big win.

“Fantastic,” he beamed in a post-game interview with Fox Sport.

“I thought the first half for us was exceptional.

“Samoa is a great footy team and committed to each other.”

Asked about Tedesco’s contribution, the rugby league Immortal said: “James was on tonight and we needed him.”

Australia played a man down in the first half after referee Ashley Klien sin-binned Kangaroos forward Angus Crichton for using a forearm to the head of Chanel Harris-Tavita.

Crichton was lucky not to be sent off as he raised his forearm and knocked Harris-Tavita out cold early in the second half.

Australia went to the break leading 14-0 and Cameron Murray’s try 12 minutes into the second half virtually locked up the game.

Tedesco made sure the Kangaroos retained the World Cup when he scored his second try off a perfect inside ball from Cameron Munster to push the score out to 26-6 with just over 10 minutes left.

“It’s very special to pull this jersey on,” said Tedesco who has previously represented Italy in the World Cup.

“It’s unbelievable.”

Earlier Brisbane Broncos captain All Brigginshaw vowed she would play on until the 2025 World Cup after starring in the Jillaroo’s crushing win over the Kiwi Ferns.

The 32-year-old veteran has three line breaks and ran for more than 100 meters and controlled the game brilliantly.

“To all the people that said I was ‘too old, I’m still here and I’ll be going to France in 2025,” she declared.

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