Australia 62 US 0
A serious knee injury to Billy Slater has overshadowed record equalling try-scoring feats by Brett Morris and Jarryd Hayne in Australia's 62-0 quarter-final win against a spirited USA side in Wales.
Slater was assisted from the field in early in the first half after falling awkwardly when taking a USA bomb. The injury forced a reshuffle to the Australian line-up with Greg Inglis switching to fullback and Greg Bird and Daly Cherry-Evans spending time in the centres. It capped a tumultuous week for Slater who was involved in a night club scuffle in Manchester on Monday.
Kangaroos winger Brett Morris beats Matt Petersen of USA on the way to scoring his first try during the Rugby League World Cup quarter-final. Photo: Getty Images
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Hayne(4), Inglis(2), Morris(4), Smith, Cronk||Tries||12||Tries||0||Players|
|Players||Thurston 7/12 (58%)||Conversions||7||Conversions||0||Players|
|Players||Penalty goals||0||Penalty goals||0||Players|
|Players||Field goals||0||Field goals||0||Players|
From the moment James Tamou scooped on the kick-off the USA were doomed.
The loss ended America's fairytale tournament who, filled with amateur players, were of little match for a disciplined Australian side in front of 5762 people,
Australia took full advantage of their first day game of the tournament, promoting the football like they haven't had an opportunity to before because of the wet and dew which has been a feature of the World Cup.
Kangaroos' big win in Wrexham
Greg Inglis of Australia. Photo: Getty Images
More pleasing for coach Tim Sheens was Australia's defensive effort. For the third consecutive game they kept their opposition scoreless.
The Kangaroos raced in 12 tries with Morris and Hayne scoring four each to equal the most scored in a Test by Australia. Australia dominated possession and the US missed 37 more tackles than their counterparts. Poor goal-kicking from Johnathan Thurston kept the scoreline closer after the five-eighth missed five goals
Hayne, in his first appearance for Australia at centre was strong, so too was his centre partner Inglis who proved too much of a handful for the dog-walker Taylor Welch.
The game couldn't have started any more disastrously for the US when the Australian's regathered the ball from the kick-off when Tamou pounced after the ball bounced off the posts. America repelled that set before a goal-line drop out led to Inglis drifting from the left hand side of the field to combine with Hayne to open the scoring after three minutes.
While footwork created Australia's first try it was sheer size and strength from Inglis to score a try of his own when he fended off winger Bureta Faraimo and halfback Craig Preistly after a blind-side raid just metres from the try-line.
Morris would score the first of his four tries to spark a seven minute onslaught where the Kangaroos crossed four times to have the US reeling. Morris scored twice with Melbourne teammates Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith picking up tries with some attacking raids from deep within their own half.
Two more tries to Morris before half-time gave Australia a 38-0 lead.
Australia's momentum slowed when Slater was taken from the field with confusion filtering into the side regarding positional switches.
Eventually, they settled and started to find their feet again with Inglis again leading the charge. He carried four USA defenders over the try-line with his strength again unable to be contained by the opposition to open Australia's second half second 11 minutes into the second half.
Hayne scored Australia's three final tries to finish with four alongside Morris.
Fullback Kristian Freed, Eddy Pettybourne and Faraimo were among the best for the US.
The 62-point deficit fell short of Australia's record winning 110-4 win against Russia in the 2000 World Cup.
Australia will play the winner of the Samoa and Fiji game in a semi-final next week.
AUSTRALIA 62 (J Hayne 4 B Morris 4 G Inglis 2 C Cronk C Smith tries J Thurston 7 goals) bt TOMAHAWKS 0 at The Racecourse. Referee: Henry Perenara.