Daley: Australia setting the standard
Former Australia five-eighth Laurie Daley says the Kangaroos are doing everything right in their quest for back-to-back World Cup titles, labelling Mal Meninga's side as deserving favourites heading into the latter stages of the tournament.
His comments come after Australia demolished Samoa 46-0 in Darwin on Friday night, booking a spot in the semi-finals with a commanding team performance.
Samoa simply had no answer for the Kangaroos who were clinical in attack and hardened in defence, leading 30-0 at half-time before going on with it in the second 40.
Australia have now scored 150 points and conceded just 10 in their four games, with opposition teams failing to score a point against the Kangaroos in the second half of any their matches.
In fact it is now nine World Cup games straight where the Kangaroos have not conceded a second half point and it is these little things in defence that the Australians pride themselves on.
Daley, who has represented Australia on 26 occasions, would know this better than most, and he likes the look of what the Kangaroos have produced so far.
"You can only beat what the opposition put up against you and Samoa weren't great, but Australia are doing everything," Daley said during Channel 7's coverage of the Rugby League World Cup.
"They are setting the standard in this competition. They are completing their sets and doing all the little things well.
"That's what they need to get in order when they get to the big games. Mal would be quite impressed with that, particularly the first 40 minutes against Samoa on Friday night."
Kangaroos fullback Billy Slater was one of the stars of Friday's victory, playing a role in three tries and scoring a four-pointer of his own to run rings around Samoa.
Slater did not have much to say about his own performance, instead praising the team's completion rate in hot and humid conditions.
It was around 30 degrees at kick-off, with the 'feels like' temperature sitting at 33 degrees, creating slippery conditions as the players perspired heavily.
It meant ball handling was always going to be tough, but the Kangaroos adjusted to complete at an impressive 82 per cent compared to Samoa's lowly 62.
"We knew we had to be patient and complete our sets in this heat. We knew the ball was going to be a bit slippery and that if we didn't hold the ball then it was going to be a tough night for us. We completed our sets and we made it hard for the Samoans," Slater told Channel 7.
"We didn't think we were going to play that much footy because of how slippery the ball is in Darwin with all the sweat, but as it turned out a few of the moves came off for us and we got a bit of fluency in our attack.
"Hopefully we can take that into next week."
The Kangaroos will take on the winner of the New Zealand v Fiji quarter-final next week in Brisbane for a spot in the World Cup final.