Zannette the difference in Men’s 35s World Cup final

4 May 2019 @ 2:45 UTC

Australia opened the final day of the 2019 Touch World Cup in Malaysia with a thrilling win over a determined New Zealand.

The Australian Men's Over 35 defeated its trans-Tasman rivals in a 6-5 thriller in front of a big crowd at Taman Ekuestrian, Putrajaya.

In challenging tropical conditions Australian skipper, David Zanette proved the difference between the teams in attack and defence. The North Queensland Cowboy, who plays in the NRL Touch premiership in Australia, scored a try and then with the game on the line late in the match, memorably ran down a flying Nicholas O'Halloran, who'd grabbed an intercept for the Kiwis.

The Aussie skipper's heroics was the play of the game. The Emu's coach, Karly Banks, said, "David is a wonderful player. Everything he does is first class. We call him the Cameron Smith of Touch."

While the Federation of International Touch's coaching commission judged, Zanette, the game's MVP, Banks said the win was built on a team platform. "Unless the other boys are all doing their jobs, then Dave doesn't get to do his thing."

Banks did admit the Zannette's brilliant chase on O'Halloran was the difference in the end between the teams. "You won't see a better one at World Cup level."

Other scorers for the Emus were James O'Neill, Aaron Jones, and Ryan Pollock, with Andrew Daher grabbing a brace. In response, Carl Knox, Nezea Silbery, Donnie Rihari, Derick Blank, Hayden Karena got across the stripe for the Kiwis.

The victory was even more memorable for the Australians as the team was chock-full of debutants, while the former world champions arrived in Malaysia with Silbery and Leon Skinner two ex-captains of the New Zealand Men's Open team. "We had nine debutants, and they had plenty of former Men's and Mixed Opens internationals."

Later, the Men's 30s Touch World Cup final between Australia and South Africa wasn't as close. The Emus defeated the Touchboks by 19 touchdowns to 4. A highlight of the match was the six touchdowns by New South Wales men's State of Origin player, Beau Montgomery. Other standouts in the lopsided game were Khanui Cox with three touchdowns, while Tommy Quinlivan grabbed a brace. Nicholas Williamson grabbed two for South Africa, with Zhahier Ryland and Calvin Jenzen crossing the line once each.

Article by Anthony O'Brien.