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The NZ World Cup awards

The NZ World Cup awards

We bring you the good, the bad and the ugly from the Rugby League World Cup that was from a New Zealand point of view. Here’s our NZ World Cup awards. (Main photo: NRLPhotos).

Most impressive

At 36 years of age, Honey Hireme basically humiliated every other outside back at the Women’s World Cup, with no player able to get close to her stunning feats on the left wing. The Putaruru-born talent scored 13 tries in four games and broke the line a ridiculous 19 times. Hireme was a standout in the defeat to the Jillaroos in the final as well, getting over twice for four-pointers.

Honey Hireme
Honey Hireme fends through for another try. Credit: NRLPhotos

Most disappointing

You keep expecting Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to take the next step at Test level and become a convincing first-choice option for the Kiwis. But frustratingly the 22-year-old was full of errors at this tournament, that despite him enjoying a pretty good year at club level, and he really should have lost his spot to veteran Jason Nightingale.

The surprise

We knew Nelson Asofa-Solomona was good, but few could have predicted he would take to Test football in such convincing fashion. The Melbourne Storm giant averaged over 140 metres across his four games, doing it all off the bench, and standing out as New Zealand’s best middle forward at the World Cup. ‘NAS’ came of age at the tournament, in similar fashion to the way Martin Taupau did in the 2014 Four Nations.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Nelson Asofa-Solomona on the charge against Scotland. Credit: NRLPhotos

Hit of the Tournament

It could be any one of these, but we are going with the middle one. Teuila goes pop!

Best performance in a game

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was just about involved in everything good the Kiwis did when they beat Scotland in pool play, which is quite a feat considering they scored 14 tries in that match. The fleet-footed fullback carried 21 times for over 230 metres, breaking through the line three times. He also set up four tries against the woeful Bravehearts. 

Pass of the Tournament

Raecene McGregor puts it on a platter in the biggest game of the tournament.

Quote of the tournament

It is impossible to go past David Kidwell’s “The ki is the wi”. For the record, no it wasn’t David, the key was scoring more than four points against a Fijian team who had just five first-choice NRL players in it.