2017 Rugby League World Cup Final Fallout

Retirement, Wayne Bennett & Cam Slam!

2017 Rugby League World Cup Final Fallout Getty Images

A Cooper Cronk bombshell, Wayne Bennett's bold claim and Cameron Smith continues to make history after World Cup Final win.

Cooper Cronk Signs Off A Winner

Roosters recruit Cooper Cronk has announced he will retire from all representative rugby league following Australia's World Cup Final win over England. 

Cronk informed both Mal Meninga and Queensland coach Kevin Walters of his decision earlier in the week, ending a glittering 10-year representative career. 

The champion halfback told the media after Australia's historic win, it was time for someone else to create the memories he was fortunate enough to achieve.

"There's probably two reasons for it; I've had one hell of a run and I never thought anything like this would even be possible in my wildest dreams for a kid who grew up here 20 minutes from the south side of the Brisbane," Cronk said.

"I never knew, thought or hoped. I think it's time for someone else to grab a few of those memories and moments. I've had my fair share.

"I've had a great run, been very fortunate and blessed for everything that has come my way and I think it's time for someone else to put their fingerprints all over this footy team and grab their own memories.

"The other reason is a personal one. Rep football takes a lot of dedication and time away. I think this is a really good time to know that this is an endpoint."

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Wayne Bennett Compares World Cup Final To Origin Cauldron

Following his sides hard-fought World Cup Final loss, Wayne Bennett claimed the intensity of the Final was of Origin standard. 

"I’m really proud of them, I thought it was somewhere around State of Origin standard actually," Bennett said.

"The intensity of it and the effort from both teams and lots of times they were exhausted and they still found something, so it was pretty good stuff.

"It’s a pity there has to be a loser on a night like tonight because nobody really loses.

"The scoreboard says you lose but what do we lose?

"Effort, intensity, trying as hard as they did, both teams had good shape and lots of options.

"That’s what makes sport great, but someone’s got to win and someone’s got to lose."

England face tough competition to keep Bennett at the helm, with reports the New Zealand Rugby League Federation are seeking Bennett to turn their fortunes around after a disastrous World Cup campaign.

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Cam Smith: The History Maker

Cameron Smith's 2017 has been nothing short of phenomenal, winning just about every team and individual award there is to win in a single calendar year. 

Smith has also broken many record over the course of 2017 in both Club, State and Test level.

Now, Smith has created history of his own becoming to first player ever to captain his Club, State And International sides to winning glory.

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Cameron Smith in 2017: 

  • NRL Premiership
  • State of Origin Series win, making it 11 in 12 years 
  • First man to play 40 Origin games
  • Dally M Player of the Year  
  • Dally M Hooker of the Year
  • Dally M Captain of the Year
  • Record-breaking 358 NRL games, the most of anyone in the history of the NRL. 
  • First player in the history of the game to kick 1,000 premiership goals (Second behind Hazem El Masri on all-time points scoring list).
  • 254 NRL wins, giving him the most first grade wins in history.
  • Most consecutive Test matches for the Kangaroos (currently at 39-games)  
  • Golden Boot Award as the Best Rugby League Player of 2017
  • 2017 World Cup Winner 

 

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