2010 RUGBY LEAGUE FOUR-NATIONS OVERVIEW
Host Nation – Australia and New Zealand
Number of Teams – 4
Highest Crowd – 44,324 Eden Park, Auckland (Biggest Tri/Four Nations crowd in New Zealand)
Average Crowd – 19,644
Total Crowd – 137,506
2010 Four-Nations Snapshot – The 2010 Four-Nations was the 2nd instalment of the expanded tri-nations competition. With the ongoing improvement of 2nd tier nations, the new tournament created a platform for those nations to play against the big three. The Four-Nations took place in Australia and New Zealand in October / November 2010. The 2009 Pacific Cup winners Papua New Guinea secured their place as the fourth team in the tournament.
The format saw each team play each other once in the pool rounds with the top two nations contesting the final. Wellington’s Westpac Stadium hosted the opening game where the Kiwis beat a young English team. While the following day Australia were easy winners against a physical but inexperienced Kumuls side.
A week later Melbourne’s newly opened rectangular stadium played host to the Australian v England match. England had showed signs of progress but failed to string it together for 80 minutes. Australia ended England’s hopes of making the Four Nations final and continued England’s recent bad luck in Melbourne. The next day over in New Zealand’s Rotorua International Stadium the Kiwis piled on the points against Papua New Guinea.
In the 3rd week of the competition all teams played in a double header at Eden Park in Auckland. The first game saw England notch up their first win of the series against Papua New Guinea. The second match saw the two teams who had already made the final, battle it out for bragging rights. At a packed Eden Park Australia were booed during the national anthem. It must have fired up the Aussies as they piled on the points against the Kiwis to silence the crowd for a short time anyway. When the game was well out of reach for New Zealand parts of the crowd turned hostile and at one stage bottles were being thrown at Australian players on the field. In the end the Australian’s kept their cool and went into the next week with a win and a mental advantage over the Kiwis.
In the lead up to the final New Zealand had been written off once again. Parts of the media harped on about Australia’s dominance and the death of international rugby league. But when you least expect it international rugby league manages to produce something special. At the home of international rugby league Suncorp Stadium, Australia and New Zealand went toe to toe for the entire game but it took a bit of Benji Magic to make the difference with two minutes left on the clock. The Kiwis pulled a rabbit out of their hat to shock the crowd and snatch victory from the Kangaroos.
The victory by New Zealand cemented their status as current World Cup Champions. The Kiwis Four Nations win now means New Zealand have won 3 Tournaments (2005 Tri-Nations, 2008 World Cup, 2010 Four Nations) in six years. Australia’s domination of international rugby league has finally come to an end.
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2010 FOUR NATIONS SQUADS
Australia: (Game 1) Billy Slater, Lote Tuqiri, Brent Tate, Willie Tonga, Brett Morris, Darren Lockyer (c), Cooper Cronk, Petero Civoniceva, Cameron Smith, Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday, Luke Lewis, Paul Gallen. Interchange: Kurt Gidley, Anthony Watmough, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, David Shillington
England: (Game 1) – Gareth Widdop, Tom Briscoe, Michael Shenton, Ryan Atkins, Darrell Goulding, Kevin Brown, Sam Tomkins, James Graham (c), James Roby, Stuart Fielden, Gareth Ellis, Sam Burgess, Sean O’Loughlin. Interchange (from): Darrell Griffin, Ben Westwood, Luke Robinson, Eorl Crabtree, Joel Tomkins, Leroy Cudjoe
Papua New Guinea: (Game 1) – R Tongia, M Mark, JJ Parker, E Yere, E Riyong, G Nami, D Aiye, M Aizue, B John, G Moni, R Griffin, D Loko, Paul Aiton (captain). Interchange: C Wabo, N Kolo, J Kuike, L Marabe, P Tongap, A Haija, R Kambo
New Zealand: (Game 1) – Lance Hohaia, Jason Nightingale, Junior Sa’u, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Manu Vatuvei, Benji Marshall (c), Nathan Fien, Greg Eastwood, Thomas Leuluai, Adam Blair, Simon Mannering, Bronson Harrison, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Issac Luke, Ben Matulino, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Frank Pritchard, Sika Manu, Sam Perrett
2010 FOUR-NATIONS POOL ROUNDS
Game 1: Oct 23rd New Zealand 24 – England 10, Location – Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand, Crowd – 20,681
Game 2: Oct 24th Australia 42 – Papua New Guinea 0, Location – Parramatta Stadium, Parramatta, Australia, Crowd – 11,308
Game 3: Oct 30th New Zealand 76 – Papua New Guinea 12, Location – International Stadium, Rotorua, New Zealand, Crowd – 6,000
Game 4: Oct 31st Australia 34 – England 14, Location – AAMI Park, Melbourne, Australia, Crowd – 18,894
Game 5: Nov 6th Papua New Guinea 10 – England 36, Location – Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, Crowd – 44,324 (Double Header)
Game 6: Nov 6th New Zealand 20 – Australia 34, Location – Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, Crowd – 44,324 (Double Header)
Papua New Guinea
2010 Four-Nations Final
13th Nov Australia 12 – New Zealand 16, Location – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, Crowd – 36,299
Four-Nations Champions: New Zealand