By John Davidson, (RLP RLWC Correspondent) Date: 10/11/13
The Kangaroos have crushed Ireland 50-0 in Limerick and will now prepare for the USA in the next stage.
This game was always going to be a walkover for Australia at Thomond Park but the Irish did frustrate their more fancied opponents on several occasions. Jarryd Hayne crossed in the right corner after just 90 seconds and the signs were that the Wolfhounds were in for a long night.
But the Kangaroos took another nine minutes to register their second try. Australia had a weight of possession but Ireland showed great steel and commitment in their defence. Cooper Cronk dummied and forced his way over for his first try on the 10-minute mark, but the Irish line was solid for another 17 minutes. Then Greg Bird posted the Kangaroos third try after a nice cut-out pass from Daly Cherry-Evans.
Brett Morris and Billy Slater got over the line before half-time, with the Aussies ahead 26-0 at the break. As strange as it sounds, Ireland was actually performing decently considering the lack of ball and the size of the penalty count against them.
The Wolfhounds had been forced to make 86 more tackles than Australia, had missed 11 tackles to the Aussies one and had completed just nine sets to Australia’s 25.
The penalty count was 10-1 in the Kangaroos favour and Ireland was struggling to handle the Aussies speed, power and ball movement. However, the Wolfhounds came out of the sheds with a bit of enthusiasm and momentum, continuing to put their bodies on the line and compete on every play.
It took 16 minutes into the second half for the Kangaroos to score again, Cronk completing his double off a Corey Parker pass. Daly Cherry-Evans created and scored one for himself three minutes later, grubbering and regathering to notch a fantastic solo effort. The Manly half was outstanding in this game and is surely putting pressure on for a starting spot.
With Ireland tiring and the Aussies continually probing, soft tries were scored by Andrew Fifita on 64 minutes and Hayne with his double on 72 minutes.
All up the Kangaroos were nine tries to the good and managed to keep the Irish tryless. They move on to face the Americans in Wales while the Wolfhounds head home.
Australia 50, Tries: Bird, Slater, Cronk (2), Morris, Hayne (2), Cherry-Evans, Fifita, Goals: Parker (4), Smith (3),