Contained: Sonny Bill Williams.

Contained: Sonny Bill Williams. Photo: AFP

MANCHESTER: Failure is not a word associated with Sonny Bill Williams' return to rugby league this year, but a ruthless Australia side kept him out of the record books in Saturday's Rugby League World Cup final at Old Trafford.

Having helped the All Blacks lift the Rugby World Cup in Auckland in 2011, the newly-crowned RLIF International Player of the Year was aiming to become the first man to become a world champion in both codes.

But after Tim Sheens' Kangaroos produced one of the finest performances ever seen to win 34-2 the 27-year-old admitted there was little more he could have done to help his side repeat their 2008 success.

Billy Slater of Australia dives over the line to score the opening try. Click for more photos

Australia win Rugby League World Cup

Billy Slater of Australia dives over the line to score the opening try. Photo: Getty Images

"I'm heartbroken. I'm really disappointed. I left it all out there today," Williams said.

"That last 20 minutes was disappointing. I tried to overplay my hand and try to come up with something special and it wasn't to be.

"I definitely feel bad for the brothers but full credit to Australia. They were just too good today."

Williams only confirmed his decision to stay in league after the Kiwis had announced their squad for the tournament and was swiftly added by coach Stephen Kearney at the expense of Tohu Harris.

And, despite the loss, he said it had been a positive experience to be back in the international game.

"It's the thing that I missed. I felt it after a couple of weeks in camp. It's just like a family, a brotherhood, and it's something you can't really get when you are playing at club level," he said.

"But I am really disappointed right now and disappointed for the boys. I just couldn't come up with it today.

"We tried our hardest but Australia were too good.

"You win some, you lose some."

AAP