By John Davidson, Date:10/11/14
Australia will play New Zealand in the Four Nations final after defeating Samoa 44-18.
In a one-side match the Kangaroos spanked the Samoans in Wollongong, racing in eight tries to three. Australia’s 26-point win is enough to book their place in the decider, where they will face the unbeaten Kiwis in Wellington on Saturday.
A motivated Kangaroos showed their intent and class early against the Samoans. Just 90 seconds into the game and a Greg Inglis offload put Sione Mata’utia into space and the Knights winger put Cooper Cronk over for the first try.
Inglis then scored a try of his own after Sam Thaiday offloaded to Corey Parker, who popped it up to the fullback, close to the line.
Tim Simona then got Samoa into the game after the Wests Tigers fullback fended off two defenders to burrow over.
The Pacific Islanders went close a few minutes later when Pita Godinet was held up after another special dummy. The video referee confirmed that Inglis had stopped the Samoa hooker from just planting the ball down.
The Kangaroos stepped up a gear on 25 minutes. Inglis glided through some soft defence to claim his second touchdown.
Daly Cherry-Evans extended Samoa’s pain five minutes later. The Manly halfback dummied and ran 70 metres to score in the corner.
On debut prop David Klemmer then got into the action. The Bulldogs forward powered over at short range off a Cameron Smith pass. Five minutes before half-time and Australia was in complete control with a 28-6 lead.
In the second period Samoa signaled that they weren’t going down without a fight, finding the tryline on 45 minutes after some sweet stepping from Ben Roberts.
However, errors were harming Samoa’s chances and the Kangaroos further extended their lead on 61 minutes. Cronk got his second try after a quick play the ball inches from the line.
Samoa responded in kind through David Fa’alogo. The captain scarpered over through a big hole close to the posts.
But that was the only score Toa Samoa could manage for the rest of the match. With the Australians 14 points in front with 10 minutes left, the world champions still had time for two more tries.
Josh Papalii went over after a rampaging effort where he went through four defenders. And then Josh Mansor got in on the fun two minutes before full-time. Ben Roberts had made a long break but then lost the ball.
Thaiday recovered it and with the Samoa defence asleep Josh Mansor ran from dummy half and flew on the outside to get his first Test try.
Smith had been his usual rock for the Kangaroos, topping the tackle count with 47. Papalii impressed in the pack with 12 hit-ups while Cherry Evans claimed two conversions to go with his try.
The Four Nations is set for a replay of the 2013 World Cup final at Old Trafford. But the Kiwis will go into this game as the slight favourites this time. Having won all three games and with the match played at Wellington Stadium, they will provide sturdy opposition.
Australia (28) 44 Tries: Cronk (2), Inglis (2), Cherry-Evans, Klemmer, Papalii, Mansour Goals: Smith (4), Cherry-Evans (2)
Samoa (6) 18 Tries: Simona, Roberts, Fa’alogo Goals: Lafai (3)