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Australia have thrashed New Zealand 34-2 in the final of the Rugby League World Cup, putting on a clinical performance in front of a record crowd at Old Trafford.

It was an intense opening with the Kangaroos applying pressure from the first set, forcing an error from Jesse Bromwich. While they didn't take advantage of the early field position they were the first to score as Kieran Foran clumsily took at Slater as he chased a kick. Thurston landed the easy penalty for a 2-0 lead.

Disaster struck early for the Kiwis when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck limped off after just one touch, succumbing to his previously injured leg.

The Kangaroos lead was short lived however when a lazy high tackle gifted the Kiwis two points.

The first try came through some brilliant play. First Smith landed a pinpoint long kick to force a dropout before an inch perfect cross-field kick to the advantage of Slater handed the Aussies the first try and an 8-2 lead after 20 minutes.

Minutes later Issac Luke brilliantly held up Cooper Cronk after Jarryd Hayne expertly kept the ball alive with a kick back in-field. Cronk gathered the kick before Luke somehow managed to get both hands under the ball with Fifita penalised for advancing the tackled player.

Cronk wasn't to be denied a second time when Darius Boyd broke down the left hand edge and grubbered ahead. The Storm half regathered and dove over for the Kangaroos second try. The subsequent conversion gave Johnathan Thurston his 310th International point, breaking Mich Cronin's record.

Just before half-time Thurston added more points as the Kiwis gave away another silly penalty right in front of the posts for a 16-2 lead.

The Kangaroos wasted no time in the second half as Boyd linked up with Slater down the short side to extend the lead to 22-2.

The onslaught continued when Jarryd Hayne sprinted clear and kicked ahead. Brett Morris chased the ball down, planting it in-goal before slamming into the fence beyong the very narrow in-goals. Morris clutched at his side and remained on the deck for a few minutes but eventually shook off the injury and carried on.

Hayne was involved again when he intercepted a loose Sonny-Bill Williams pass, racing 60 metres before sending Morris clear. Thurston made it seven from seven as the Kangaroos raced to a 34-2 lead.

Issac Luke tried hard to spark something for the Kiwis but the Australians were ruthless in defence. Several times they found good field position but were unable to find the last pass with the pressure proving too much. The Kangaroos expertly ran down the clock, recording a 34-2 win with Thurston a well deserving man of the match.

Incredibly the Kangaroos played for more than 400 minutes in the tournament without conceding a try, their last coming way back in the first game of the tournament.

Kangaroos 34 (Slater 2, Morris 2, Cronk tries. Thurston 5/5 conversions. Thurston 2/2 penalty goals) def Kiwis 2 (Johnson 1/1 penalty goals)
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