雖然早期階段的一些痛擊並不漂亮，但一些慶祝活動將長期存在於人們的記憶中--特別是在Siteni Taukamo為被英格蘭隊擊潰的希臘隊滑倒後，以及在Dallin Watene-Zelezniak為牙買加隊對新西蘭隊的歷史性得分後。
Last updated on .From the section Rugby League
Australia's 30-10 victory over Samoa in the men's final brought the curtain down on the Rugby League World Cup - a tournament six years in the making.
Several attendance records were also broken - with nearly 500,000 tickets sold over the course of a five-week period.
New nations such as Brazil,Greece and Jamaica delivered a feelgood factor and memories to eclipse some of the lopsided outcomes in the group stages, before the intense rivalries, high quality and drama-filled later stages.
Alongside the positives, there were lessons to be learned too.
A slicker and more agile ticketing operation is likely to prove vital to the success of the next World Cup - in France in 2025 - and would have helped spread the gospel of the game even further this time around.
And the lack of an international programme for 2023 and beyond - coming off a five-week festival of rugby league - purveys a feeling of uncertainty for a sport that appears to trundle rather than accelerate towards realising its global potential.
'Where to from now?'
England have a men's and women's double header against France scheduled for April next year, but as it stands there are no other international matches to look forward to.
The international governing body has pledged to release a 10-year plan for the game in December, but fixture announcements have already been delayed and rescheduled twice in 2022 amid internal wrangling in Australia.
A southern hemisphere cup competition including Australia and New Zealand is reportedly close to being agreed, with one of the Pacific Island nations also given an option to tour the northern hemisphere.
When asked about need for the issues to be resolved, Australia men's coach Mal Meninga said: "Absolutely. I'm in a position where I can say that as coach of the World Cup winners.
"Like I've said many times, particularly in the last few days: 'Where to from now?' We need a schedule to work towards.
"The whole tournament was excellent. It was a good showpiece, and it shows where the international game is going with Samoa in there.
"I am looking forward to our decision-makers deciding where the international game goes to."
The Kangaroos - the sport's most successful international side - had been without a Test fixture for almost three years prior to their arrival in England.
Speaking on the BBC, former England captain Jamie Peacock said: "We've been saying this forever, haven't we? We say this all the time. International rugby needs to sort itself out."
Samoa captain Junior Paulo said: "I don't know how we find a way but we need to find a way to block games out for international rugby league moving forward."
While some of the thrashings doled out in the early stages were not pretty, some the celebrations will live long in the memory - in particular those after Siteni Taukamo slid over for a Greece side crushed by England, and following Dallin Watene-Zelezniak's historic score for Jamaica against New Zealand.
So too will the traditional pre-match war dances of Samoa and Tonga - breathtaking moments worth the entrance fee alone.
Samoa more than caught the eye once the action got under way too - becoming the first tier-two nation to reach the final with a dramatic golden-point defeat of an England side that had thrashed them 60-6 in the opening game.
The backing of a huge Old Trafford crowd in the showpiece match - and the delight at Stephen Crichton's late consolation try - told its own story.
"It was awesome," said Paulo. "We were on the other end of the stick against England where they were booing and it goes to show how good rugby league is.
"Seeing the boys celebrate that try despite being where we were on the scoreboard meant everything to us about how proud we are of this team."
England's semi-final exit from the women's tournament inevitably pushed the case for professionalism if they are to compete with the two powerhouse nations - New Zealand and world champions Australia - whose players are almost exclusively based in the full-time NRLW.
But the quality of the product on show also underlined the massive strides over the past decade - and the Group A opener between England and Brazil set a new northern hemisphere record for attendance at a women's rugby league match.
The Jillaroos were at their dazzling, skilful best in the final, with Meninga among many watching on in admiration.
"It has been a great rise for women's rugby league," he said.
"They have taken extraordinary steps forward and it is great to see.
"I want the game of rugby league to prosper. We are all equal and inclusive - that is what our game delivers."
That was obvious nowhere more than during the wheelchair tournament, which brought the sport to so many new people.
"I think we've seen the birth of a new pop culture phenomenon," Australian journalist Steve Mascord said on the 5 live Rugby League World Cup podcast.
As Rugby League World Cup chief executive Jon Dutton said on the eve of the final: "We've got a new audience the sport didn't have.
"They've been attracted by how brilliant wheelchair rugby is to consume, for example, and what's happened here in the women's game is transformational.
"Different people will have a different take but, for us, the structure has been a resounding success."