2008 Rugby League World Cup Matches

2008 Rugby League World Cup Matches

The 2008 Rugby League World Cup was the thirteenth staging of the Rugby League World Cup since its inauguration in 1954, and the first since the 2000 tournament. The tournament was held in Australia from 26 October, culminating in the final between Australia and New Zealand on 22 November.

2008 was the fourth time that the World Cup was held in Australia, the first being in 1957. The tournament was won by New Zealand, who defeated Australia 34–20 in the final in one of the greatest upsets in the history of the sport. The tournament featured the best ten teams across the globe which were split into three groups. A total of eighteen matches took place in twelve different venues across four Australian states. The tournament ended a year of celebrations commemorating the centenary of the game in the southern hemisphere and was part of the Festival of World Cups.

The thirteenth Cup was originally scheduled to be held in Australia in 2004, however the lack of international success by Great Britain and New Zealand after the 2000 World Cup and the rise of the Tri-Nations tournament meant that it was delayed for a further four years. The Rugby League International Federation officially announced this tournament on 6 May 2006, with further details on scheduling and dates following on 19 April 2007.

The first match took place in Townsville between England and Papua New Guinea, although the official opening ceremony of the competition occurred before the Australia and New Zealand match the following day in Sydney. The final took place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

The tournament proved a commercial success, delivering a profit of A$5 million and re-establishing the credibility of the competition.

Read more about 2008 Rugby League World Cup Matches:  Teams, Match Officials, Venues, Opening Ceremony, Group Stage, Final, Criticism and Controversy, Tickets, Sponsorship, "Heroes Here 08" Campaign, Sources

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