One or two individuals emerged as outstanding prospects from the Rugby League World Cup while some were simply outstanding.
Yorkshire Evening Post rugby league writer Peter Smith has his own ideas about a ‘dream team’ in both categories.
The tournament’s cult hero, meanwhile, was undoubtedly Tongan prop Fuifui Moimoi, but others to make a name for themselves included Samoa full-back Anthony Milford, USA stand-off Joseph Paulo – who even had a song written in his honour by children’s entertainers The Wiggles – and Scotland wing Alex Hurst.
Away from individuals, Papua New Guinea were a disappointment, losing all three of their matches, and Wales were the biggest let-down. They were supposed to win their group – beating Italy, Cook Islands and USA – with ease, to set-up a quarter-final meeting with USA in Wrexham, which may have added another 10,000 crowd to the tally.
Instead a lack of quality – especially in the halves – told and they emerged with three straight defeats.
By contrast, Scotland were a surprise success story. They weren’t expected to get out of their group – which also included Italy and much-fancied Tonga – but emerged unbeaten and gave a good account of themselves in a quarter-final loss to New Zealand.
But back to individuals, and here is Peter Smith Rugby League World Cup Dream teams.
Big-three Dream Team:
1: Greg Inglis (Australia)
2: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand)
3: Jarryd Hayne (Australia)
4: Dean Whare (New Zealand)
5: Ryan Hall (England)
6: Johnathan Thurston (Australia)
7: Shaun Johnson (New Zealand)
8: Jared Warea-Hargreaves (New Zealand)
9: Cameron Smith (Australia)
10: Sam Burgess (England)
11: Sam Thaiday (Australia)
12: Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand)
13: Sean O’Loughlin (England)
Non-Big-three Dream Team:
1: Anthony Milford (Samoa)
2: Christopher Taripo (Cook Islands)
3: Konrad Hurrell (Tonga)
4: Aidan Guerra (Italy)
5: Alex Hurst (Scotland)
6: Joseph Paulo (USA)
7: Aaron Groom (Fiji)
8: Mark Offerdahl (USA)
9: Ray Nasso (Italy)
10: FuiFui MoiMoi (Tonga)
11: Clint Newton (USA)
12: Danny Addy (Scotland)
13: Jesse Joe Nandye (Papua New Guinea)