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Ireland limp out of Rugby League World Cup after 50-point drubbing in Limerick

Australia are on course to be world champions again.

Tyrone McCarthy is dumped by Greg Bird and Paul Gallen.
Tyrone McCarthy is dumped by Greg Bird and Paul Gallen.
Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

COOPER CRONK AND Jarryd Hayne both bagged doubles as Australia continued their perfect start and sent Ireland packing from the Rugby League World Cup with a 50-0 win on Saturday.

Cronk and Hayne combined for four of the Kangaroos’ nine tries at Thomond Park as they set up a quarter-final clash with USA.

With three wins from three the Kangaroos have been largely untroubled in this tournament so far and their victory in Limerick ensured they topped Group A ahead of England.

Australia head coach Tim Sheens will head to Wrexham for their last-eight clash against the Tomahawks safe in the knowledge that his squad are approaching their best.

Hayne went over for the first try of the night and Cronk, Greg Bird, Brett Morris and Billy Slater all added scores in the opening period.

After the interval Cronk added a second as Sheens rung the changes in preparation for the latter stages of the tournament.

But there was still time for Daly Cherry-Evans, Andrew Fifita and finally Hayne to complete the scoring and bring up the half-century.

Despite the wet conditions it did not take long for Australia to find their feet, indeed less than 90 seconds were on the clock when Hayne slid over down the right for the first try after being fed by Brent Tate.

Skipper Cameron Smith missed with the extras and other than that early incision Ireland were defending well in greasy conditions in the opening exchanges.

But in the 11th minute the pressure finally told and Australia had their second, Cronk dummying over and Smith this time on target with the conversion to make it 10-0.

Bird added the third score just before the half-hour mark, bursting onto a fantastic flat ball from Cherry-Evans to slide over.

Morris had his side’s fourth try moments later after Smith’s grubber kick was acrobatically flicked back into his path by Cherry-Evans.

And the Kangaroos’ first-half scoring was not done there as Slater went over for his side’s fifth score, collecting Cronk’s ball to dive over down the right-hand side.

Smith was off target with the extras however meaning the tournament favourites went in at the break 26-0 ahead.

Pegged

But it was to Ireland’s credit that the Kangaroos did not have it all their own way after the break, Liam Finn’s smart kicking game keeping them pegged back.

Indeed the first score after the break did not come until the 57th minute, Cronk weaving his way through under the posts as Ireland’s defence began to tire, replacement Corey Parker taking over the kicking from the rested Smith.

Cherry-Evans then went over on the hour mark for the seventh of the game, collecting his own grubber kick to dot down.

- © AFP, 2013

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