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Australia thrash USA Tomahawks 62 - 0

Brett Morris and Jarryd Hayne each got four try hauls as Australia romped to a 62-0 victory over the USA in the second Rugby League World Cup 2013 quarter-final, to book their place at next weekend’s Big Hit semi-final at Wembley. The Kangaroos ran in eight tries in the first half, with Morris recording his hat-trick inside half an hour. They continued their impressive defensive effort which has seen them concede no tries in the three matches since playing England in the tournament opener. This game was all about the surprise versus the expected; the debut nation USA riddled with part-time players, against the most successful nation in World Cup history, Australia, and their all-star line-up. The luck seemed to be with the tournament favourites early on, as Cameron Smith’s kick-off struck the right upright and rebounded to a green and gold shirt. The USA did well not to concede a try from the game’s first set. However the Kangaroos only had to wait until their second set to record the first of their 12 tries, as Greg Inglis, playing at centre, fed Hayne who had no trouble touching down and setting the tone for the afternoon. The USA came into their historic quarter-final looking to regain the momentum that had seen them reach the last eight with wins over the Cook Islands and Wales, following defeat in their final group game against Scotland in Salford. Australia, meanwhile, were simply looking to maintain their 100 per cent record at RLWC2013, following their wins over England, Fiji and Ireland. Despite this early set back the USA, through their own sprinkling of NRL talent, fought back, gaining valuable territory through Clint Newton, and came close to a try of their own but captain Joseph Paulo failed to connect with an attempted grubber to the line. The spirit and determination of the American side was as evident as it has been throughout the tournament and was epitomised by Bureta Faraimo’s huge tackle on Billy Slater, which brought a cheer from Wrexham crowd, but it did not prevent Greg Inglis from ultimately going over for Australia’s second of the match at the end of the move. Less than a minute after Johnathan Thurston’s impressive conversion, it looked for a split second as though Paulo was about to open the USA account when he charged down Cooper Cronk’s kick, though the Australian scrum-half managed to backtrack and snuff out the danger. It was the last time the USA would spend attacking, as Australia completed the first period with panache, Morris soon stretching the Australian lead to 14 points with a powerful solo effort. He picked the ball up just inside the Tomahawks’ half and sprinted down the wing. It seemed to click the Kangaroos into gear, as Hayne, scorer of the game’s first try, jinked between two white USA shirts and used his power to ride two tackles, before offloading to enable Smith to cross. There was a repeat almost straight from the restart, as Hayne did the early hard work and offloaded to Slater this time, who found the overlapping Morris free on his right to run in his second of the match. Smith then set up another try, putting in Cronk for his first of the afternoon as Australia, followingThurston’s third goal, made it a point a minute after the first half hour. Morris completed his hat-trick in the 35th minute after Inglis offloaded to his wing and then Cronk’s kick found Morris again. He plucked the ball from the air to record his fourth try of the first half. The second period started worryingly for Australia, as Slater was forced off the field, helped by two physiotherapists with suspected damaged ankle ligaments. The scoring followed the same pattern as the first half, as Inglis recorded his second of the afternoon with a show of strength, marching over the line with four Tomahawks clamped around his body. Hayne then became the third Australian to score multiple tries, as Morris broke through the USA’s defence and cut inside, only to reverse-pass to the Kangaroos’ number three, who had overlapped on the wing. Thurston converted to bring up Australia’s half century in under an hour. With a little over 10 minutes remaining, Hayne went over for his own hat-trick after Australia won a penalty 20 metres from the USA line. There was a brief moment when it looked as though the USA’s extraordinary RLWC2013 journey could end with a historic try against Australia. Referee Henry Perenara asked for the video referee’s assistance with the Tomahawks stuck on the Kangaroos’ line, but he ruled out a touchdown. Instead Australia swept up to the other end and rounded off their impressive display as Hayne claimed his fourth, knocking flat USA full-back Kristian Freed on his way to scoring in the last move of the game. Australia 1 Billy Slater 2 Brett Morris 3 Jarryd Hayne 4 Greg Inglis 5 Darius Boyd 6 Johnathan Thurston 7 Cooper Cronk 8 Matthew Scott 9 Cameron Smith 10 James Tamou 11 Greg Bird 12 Sam Thaiday 13 Paul Gallen Interchange 14 Daly Cherry-Evans 15 Josh Papalii 16 Andrew Fifita 17 Corey Parker USA 1 Kristian Freed 2 Bureta Faraimo 3 Taylor Welch 4 Michael Garvey 5 Matthew Petersen 6 Joseph Paulo 7 Craig Preistly 8 Mark Offerdahl 9 Haveatama Luani 10 Eddy Pettybourne 11 Clint Newton 12 Matthew Shipway 13 Daniel Howard Interchange 14 Tuisegasega Samoa 15 Roman Hifo 16 Mark Cantoni 17 Les Soloai Scorers: Australia: 62 Tries: Hayne (4), Inglis (2), Morris (4), Smith, Cronk Goals: Thurston (6) USA: 0 Officials: Referee: Henry Perenara Touch-judges: Jose Periera and Tim Roby Video referee: Phil Bentham Attendance: 5,762

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