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Veteran Vodafone Warriors Jerome Ropati and Sam Rapira had special reason this week to look forward to Sunday mornings Rugby League World Cup final and, at the same time, reflect on the history they had a role in creating at Suncorp Stadium five years ago.

As seven of their 2013 NRL team-mates were preparing for the Kiwis showdown against the Kangaroos at Old Trafford six of them set to play in the match Ropati and Rapira spoke to Vodafone Warriors TV.

Along with current Vodafone Warriors Simon Mannering and Manu Vatuvei plus ex-Vodafone Warrior Lance Hohaia, Ropati and Rapira savoured the elation of the Kiwis winning the World Cup for the first time when they stunned Australia 34-20 on November 22, 2008.

Ropati scored a critical - if contentious - first half try (when Benji Marshall had the ball stripped) while Rapira added plenty of starch to the Kiwis assault in the middle of the park coming off the interchange bench.

Rapira was in the mix for selection to make a repeat World Cup appearance but missed out on the 2013 campaign when the selectors opted for team-mate Ben Matulino as well as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Sam Kasiano, Jesse Bromwich and Sam Moa with Greg Eastwood also a front row option. Rapira (26) said hes blown away by the quality of propping resources the Kiwis now have to call on and has no issues at all about not being chosen.

An injury-disrupted season prevented Ropati making a claim for a second World Cup campaign.

Both players have vivid recollections about the reasons behind the Kiwis 2008 success and they also like what theyve seen of the 2013 campaign as the countdown goes on for Sundays final in front of 75,000-plus fans.


Watch the 2013 Rugby League World Cup final live on SKY Sport 2 live from 3.00am on Sunday NZT (kick-off at 3.30am).
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