Australia will face Samoa in the World Cup quarter-final in Darwin after securing a comfortable 34-0 victory over Lebanon today at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Ahead only 10-0 at half-time, the Australian scored two tries in the final five minutes to produce a scoreline that did little credit to the efforts of the Lebanese.
In a first-half display that will give hope to their main rivals, Cameron Munster took the lead on eight minutes when he touched down from a pass by James Maloney. Cameron Smith was unable to add the goal.
But Smith was more successful on 24 minutes, when Cooper Cronk and Regan Campbell-Gillard combined to create a score for Maloney, with Smith’s conversion giving the Australians a ten-point lead.
In the second half the Australians extended their lead with Munster’s second try, as he shot through a gap and streaked downfield, with Smith’s goal making it 16-0.
Shortly afterwards a Maloney grubber into the in-goal was touched down by Boyd Cordner in the face of some tired Lebanon defenders, with Smith again goaling.
The Australians suffered a possible blow on 64 minutes, however, when Aaron Woods was put on report by referee James Child for a dangerous tackle on Tim Mannah, which must mean that Woods will be in danger of missing their quarter-final against the Samoans.
The Australians scored their two final tries as the game drew to a close, as Dane Gagai touched down a kick by Cronk to the corner, while Tom Trbojevic completed the scoring and Maloney converted both tries for a 34-0 victory.
Full reports, photos and statistics from all the weekend’s World Cup games will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express.