Australia beats Samoa 46-0 to reach Rugby League WCup semis

November 17, 2017 GMT

DARWIN, Australia (AP) — Valentine Holmes scored five tries as defending champion Australia beat Samoa 46-0 to secure a place in the Rugby League World Cup semifinals on Friday.

Holmes scored twice in the first half, including finishing a long-range attack that started when fullback Billy Slater fielded the ball inside Australia’s in-goal in the 16th minute.

The Australia pack, led by skipper Cameron Smith, was too mobile for the bigger Samoa forwards and created space on the fringes to set up eight tries. Smith converted seven of them.


Australia will next play the winner of Saturday’s quarterfinal between New Zealand and Fiji.

In other quarterfinals, Tonga will play Lebanon, and England is against Papua New Guinea.

Holmes set the Australian record for most tries in a rugby league test, surpassing eight players who previously scored four.

Five-eighth Michael Morgan crossed twice, and Slater also touched down in the first half to equal Jarryd Hayne — who has played for Australia and Fiji — as the leading try-scorer in Rugby League World Cup history with 14.