Rugby World Cup 2011: Australia 67-5 USA
Australia (22) 67
- Tries: Horne, Elsom, Beale, Faingaa 2, Mitchell, McCabe, Ashley-Cooper 3, Samo
- Cons: Cooper 2, Barnes 4
USA (5) 5
- Tries: Gagiano
Australia bounced back from defeat by Ireland in emphatic style to claim an 11-try win over the USA in Wellington.
Rob Horne and Rocky Elsom crossed for the Wallabies, before JJ Gagiano's try surprised the two-time world champions.
Further scores from Kurtley Beale and Anthony Faingaa ensured Australia secured a bonus point before half-time.
Australia stepped up a gear after the break, running in seven unanswered tries, including a six-minute Adam Ashley-Cooper hat-trick.
The Wallabies' class proved too much against a second-string American side, selected by coach Eddie O'Sullivan because of the hectic schedule facing them.
"We spoke this week about how we needed to be smarter in our decision-making," said Australia captain Will Genia. "The scoreline was a bit flattering but I think the best thing about our performance was the way we went about it."
USA captain Tim Usasz admitted it was a learning curve for his side and said: "That's the difference when you play the best sides in the world, they really punish your mistakes and that's what we learned tonight. We came here to be measured against the best."
Perhaps with last Saturday's 15-6 defeat by the Irish still preying on their minds, they produced a nervy and error-strewn opening, particularly Quade Cooper, who fumbled on a couple of occasions to gift possession to a grateful USA.
AUSTRALIA IN POOL C
- 11 Sep: Australia 32-6 Italy
- 17 Sep: Australia 6-15 Ireland
- 23 Sep: Australia 67-5 USA
- 1 Oct: Australia v Russia (Nelson, 0330 BST)
However, the playmaker, who received criticism for his muted performance in the defeat to Ireland, quickly made amends to tee up Australia's first try, dodging tackles and charging forward to start a move that Horne finished before a quick-fire second score was added by Elsom, following a neat jink to beat the last man.
There was an inevitability that more Australian scores would follow, but for the next five minutes the USA put the Australian defence under severe pressure, which Gagiano capitalised on by breaking past Elsom following a scrum to score a try in the corner and send the Wellington crowd into raptures.
Normal service was resumed shortly afterwards as Australia capitalised on some poor Eagles defending, which allowed Beale to finish a length-of-the-field breakaway team try and Faingaa to crash through and seal Robbie Deans' team an extra point.
The majority of the second half was played in the Eagles' half as Australia completely dominated their increasingly demoralised opponents.
Mitchell's strength and momentum forced his way over, McCabe scored in the corner following a simple but well-executed move seconds after entering the action and Ashley-Cooper scored a quick-fire hat-trick to take Australia past the 50-point mark.
Faingaa's second try and Radike Samo's score finished off the rout, but there were mixed emotions at the end for the Wallabies as Faingaa left the field on a stretcher following a clash which left him floored.
Australia: Beale, Ashley-Cooper, A. Faingaa, Horne, Mitchell, Cooper, Genia, Slipper, Polota-Nau, Alexander, Simmons, Sharpe, Elsom, McCalman, Palu.
Replacements: Barnes for Beale (40), McCabe for Horne (48), Burgess for Genia (50), Moore for Polota-Nau (65), Kepu for Alexander (50), Samo for Elsom (45), Vickerman for Palu (54).
USA: Scully, Hawley, Enosa, Sifa, Swiryn, Malifa, Usasz, Pittman, Thiel, Fry, LaValla, Smith, Basauri, Danahy, Gagiano.
Replacements: Wyles for Enosa (73), Petri for Usasz (69), McClenahan for Thiel (72), Stanfill for Smith (60), Johnson for Danahy (75).
Not Used: Moeakiola, R. Suniula.
Sin Bin: Scully (75).
Ref: Nigel Owens (Wales).