|Australia (30) 48|
|Tries: Addo-Carr (5), Mitchell, Murray (2), Martin Goals: Cleary (6)|
|Lebanon (0) 4|
Josh Addo-Carr starred as Australia reached the semi-finals of the World Cup with a resounding 48-4 win over Lebanon in Huddersfield.
Addo-Carr’s hat-trick in the first 19 minutes set the Kangaroos on their way and he added two more after the break for the defending champions.
Josh Mansour went over in the corner for Lebanon’s only try.
Australia will play New Zealand or Fiji in the last four in Leeds on Friday, 11 November (19:45 GMT).
Cameron Murray crossed twice for the green and golds, with Liam Martin and Latrell Mitchell also scoring in a dominant performance from Mal Meninga’s side.
Meninga has admitted that he has faced a number of selection dilemmas in the search for his strongest line-up for the knockout stages of the competition.
But against Michael Cheika determined side, his players largely vindicated his decisions. Nathan Cleary, who got the nod at half-back ahead of Daly Cherry-Evans, was excellent with ball in hand, although his first-half kicking was unusually erratic.
But while there had been some debate – particularly in Australia – over the centre and hooker positions, occupied by Jack Wighton and Harry Grant, the return of the free-scoring Addo-Carr is less contentious.
The only slight surprise was that he did not equal or better Valentine Holmes or Ken Irvine’s record of six international tries in a single match for Australia, having taken his tally to five with more than 20 minutes remaining.
With nine tries already in the tournament, Holmes’ record of 12 in a single World Cup tournament now looks increasingly within reach,. Billy Slater’s all-time World Cup record of 16 tries, set between 2008-2017, is also on the horizon.
More to follow.
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