Rugby League World Cup: Sonny Bill Williams stars for Kiwis
Last Updated: 08/11/13 10:43pm
New Zealand finished Group B with a perfect record at the Rugby League World Cup after thrashing Papua New Guinea 56-10 at Headingley.
Sonny Bill Williams helped himself to a first-half hat-trick as the reigning champions continued to demonstrate to their rivals that they are in no mood to surrender their grip on the trophy.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Dean Whare also bagged two tries apiece for the Kiwis, who will be back at the home of the Leeds Rhinos to play either Scotland or Italy in the quarter-finals.
Papua New Guinea did at least cross twice themselves but will head home having failed to pick up a point in the pool stages and having conceded 103 points in their three losses.
It took the Kiwis all of two minutes to open the scoring, a kick from stand-in skipper Kieran Foran setting up Bryson Goodwin for a try that allowed Shaun Johnson to kick the first of his eight conversions.
The half-back then used his boot to good effect to lay on a score for Tuivasa-Sheck in the corner, while the winger's second arrived in the 11th minute. Indeed, had it not been some desperate defending late on in the half, he too would have had a treble before the break.
Yet where he just failed Bill Williams succeeded, his opening effort coming at the quarter-of-an-hour mark when he forced himself over the line from close range.
The Sydney Rooster just about grounded his second, coming close to running over the dead-ball line, and then turned provider for New Zealand's next, his pass setting up Frank-Paul Nu'uausala.
Bill Williams' hat-trick was completed on the stroke of half time and with Johnson successful with the conversion Stephen Kearney's side had managed to go at a point-a-minute rate in the first half.
Understandably the scoring rate dropped off from New Zealand, with the second period being book-ended by a pair of tries for the plucky Papua New Guineans.
Dion Aiye dived over to bring about the loudest cheer of the night from the 18,180 crowd a minute after the re-start, while Wellington Albert took an offload from Jessie Joe Nandye to make sure the Kumuls finished in style.
In between New Zealand made sure they hit the half-century mark by going over three more times, Whare getting two of them in the space of six minutes.
Elijah Taylor got the nod from the video referee for their 10th and final try, though only the same official denied Bill Williams from adding another.
Ben Matulino also had a score chalked off for a forward pass after a break by Johnson shortly after being placed on report for a suspected cannon ball tackle, which proved to be the only blot on New Zealand's copybook.
2013 Rugby League World Cup
This years' Rugby League World Cup has been hailed as the greatest of all time by the organisers. Australia claimed their 10th title by beating New Zealand in the final in front of a record attendance.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood is confident the sport will capitalise on the success of hosting the World Cup.
We take a look back at the highs and occasional low from probably the best World Cup to date.
- Hetherington wants more cups
- Wallace commits to Scotland
- Widdop left gutted by defeat
- Tomkins devastated by defeat
- Burgess defends brother George
- Johnson expresses relief
- Kangaroos leap into final
- Sheens tribute to Civoniceva
- Australia v Fiji: Teams
- Burgess out to deny Williams
- Aussies wary of physical Fiji
- Foran highlights main threats
- Two video refs for World Cup
- Civoniceva gets Wembley buzz
- Fiji too strong for Samoa
- England disappoint McNamara
- England stroll into semis
- Sheens retains Slater hope
- Australia put USA to the sword
- Samoa v Fiji: Teams
- Williams injury played down
- Kiwis stroll into semis
- Sheens: Slater has learned
- Brough set for toughest test
- Scots ready for biggest task
- Kiwis wary of Henderson
- Farah dropped for US clash