Rugby League World Cup 2013: Australia 50-0 Ireland

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Australia ease to win against Ireland

Tournament favourites Australia warmed up for the knockout phase of the Rugby League World Cup with a comfortable win against Ireland in Limerick.

Kangaroos winger Jarryd Hayne opened the scoring after less than 90 seconds before his side ran in four more tries for a 26-0 half-time advantage.

Australia scored four more unanswered tries after the break as Ireland were eliminated from the tournament.

Group A winners Australia will now face the United States in the last eight.

The Americans have been one of the surprise packages of the tournament and won Group D to set up the tie in Wrexham on 16 November.

Victories against England and Fiji meant the Kangaroos were already assured of qualification, while Ireland knew they needed to beat their opponents by 25 points to join them in the last eight.

It was a unlikely scenario for an Irish side which had lost both of their opening games and were expected to fall to a heavy defeat.

And they made the worst possible start in front of an enthusiastic home crowd of 5,021 - a record for a rugby league match in Ireland - at Thomond Park.

The Wolfhounds barely had a touch of the ball before a slick move from left to right ended in Hayne racing down the touchline and crossing the whitewash.

Scrum-half Cooper Cronk sold a dummy to the Irish defence and dived over nine minutes later to extend the advantage to 10-0.

Australia were camped inside the Ireland half as they continued to dominate possession and territory.

Despite conceding 10 first-half penalties, a gallant home defence managed to hold out before two quickfire tries around the half-hour mark through Greg Bird and Brett Morris.

And Australia further extended their advantage moments before the half-time hooter when full-back Billy Slater rolled over the challenge of Ireland scrum-half Liam Finn to score.

Cameron Smith failed to add his fourth conversion and the Kangaroos half-back was withdrawn at the interval as coach Tim Sheens looked ahead to the knockout phase.

But the dominance of the Kangaroos, who finished the match having completed double the number of Irish sets, continued after the break.

Ireland held out for more than a quarter of an hour until Cronk burst over for his second try of the game.

Man of the match Daly Cherry-Evans chased on to his own grubber kick to score Australia's sixth touchdown and further scores from Andrew Fifita and Hayne - plus four conversions from Corey Parker - completed a routine win.

Ireland rarely ventured into the Australian half - winger Damien Blanch going nearest to the line in the closing stages - as the battling hosts were to unable to provide the scant consolation of a try for the home crowd to cheer.


Australia: Billy Slater, Brett Morris, Josh Morris, Brent Tate, Jarryd Hayne, Daly Cherry-Evans, Cooper Cronk, Paul Gallen, Cameron Smith, James Tamou, Greg Bird, Sam Thaiday, Nate Myles. Replacements: Boyd Cordner, Robbie Farah, Andrew Fifita, Corey Parker.

Ireland: Scott Grix, Damien Blanch, Stuart Littler, Joshua Toole, Pat Richards, James Mendeika, Liam Finn, Brett White, Rory Kostjasyn, Anthony Mullally, Tyrone McCarthy, Dave Allen, Simon Finnigan. Replacements: Bob Beswick, James Hasson, Ben Currie, Luke Ambler.

Referee: Phil Bentham (England)

Attendance: 5,021