Rugby League World Cup: Australia beat Fiji to reach final
Australia (34) 64
- Tries: Thurston, Boyd 2, Cronk, Hayne 3, Papalii, Tamou, B Morris, Fifita
- Goals: Thurston 10
Fiji (0) 0
Australia set up a Rugby League World Cup final against New Zealand after running in 11 tries to beat Fiji.
Jarryd Hayne, who played for Fiji at the last World Cup, scored a hat-trick to lead the charge.
Darius Boyd (2), Cooper Cronk, James Tamou, Josh Papalii, Brett Morris and Andrew Fifita also crossed as the Kangaroos were barely tested.
Johnathan Thurston, who scored the opening try for his side, went on to kick 10 goals.
The victory gives the Kangaroos a chance to avenge their 2008 final loss against the Kiwis on Saturday at Old Trafford.
They stamped their authority on the game from the start and Thurston got on the scoresheet early, crossing and then converting his own effort.
Recent Australia v NZ results
- Apr 2013: Aus 32-12 NZ
- Oct 2012: Aus 18-10 NZ
- Apr 2012: Aus 20-12 NZ
- Oct 2011: Aus 26-12 NZ
- Oct 2011: Aus 42-6 NZ
- May 2011: Aus 16-10 NZ
- Nov 2010: NZ 16-12 Aus
- Nov 2010: Aus 34-20 NZ
- May 2010: Aus 12-8 NZ
Greg Inglis, in at full-back for the injured Billy Slater, was the provider of the next with a pass out to Boyd for his first try of the game.
Cooper Cronk took advantage of a great ball on the inside from Hayne to cross under the posts for his 10th try in 20 Tests and Thurston extended the lead with the kick.
Hayne then got on the end of a slick back-line move and shrugged off the attentions of three defenders to plant the ball down.
Fiji tightened up their discipline and looked a bit more dangerous but they were unable to seriously challenge the Kangaroos line.
Just before the break, Australia scored again when poor offload from Eloni Vunakece gifted the ball back to them and quick hands got the ball to Hayne who crossed for his second try.
Despite their dominance, it took the Kangaroos 15 minutes of the second half to get on the scoreboard again when powerful prop James Tamou muscled over, and four minutes later Boyd scored his second after the ball was shuttled right to left, allowing him to score in the corner.
As Fiji tired, they continued to concede penalties and struggled in defence, and with 12 minutes to go, Hayne capitalised to complete his hat-trick and become the tournament's top scorer with nine tries.
Hayne then sent in a key final pass to Morris to add to the tally and Fifita had the final say with the 11th try of the game as the Kangaroos maintained their defensive effort having not conceded a try since their opening game against England.
"It was a tougher game than most people would think looking at the scoreline and we have plenty of bruises," said Australia coach Tim Sheens. "We went out to defend well and we did.
"We were embarrassed in the first game against England [in the first game of the tournament] and it will be a big ask next week against New Zealand.
"We have a week to get ready and we will be right."
Australia: Inglis, B. Morris, Tate, Hayne, Boyd, Thurston, Cronk, Scott, Smith, Tamou, Tamou, Bird, Thaiday, Gallen. Replacements: Fifita, Cherry-Evans, Papalii, Parker
Fiji: K. Naiqama, Koroibete, Waqa, W. Naiqama, Uate, D. Millard, Groom, A. Sims, Storer, Civoniceva, T. Sims, Bukuya, Vunakece. Replacements: Waqavatu, Evans, Koroisau, Roqica
Ref: Richard Silverwood (England).