Kangaroos flyer Josh Addo-Carr continued his tryscoring hot streak as the defending champions moved into the semi-finals with a 48-4 win over Lebanon on Saturday morning (AEDT).
Addo-Carr had a hat-trick inside 20 minutes and finished the night with five as Mal Meninga's men tuned up for next weekend's clash with New Zealand or Fiji in Leeds.
After a shaky start with Nathan Cleary kicking out on the full the Kangaroos found their groove in the fifth minute when Addo-Carr finished off slick lead-up work by Cameron Munster and Latrell Mitchell to score his seventh try of the tournament.
Come the 16th minute and Addo-Carr had a double after James Tedesco exploded out of dummy half and found the winger backing up on his inside to make it 10-0 to the Kangaroos.
Remarkably, Addo-Carr had a hat-trick in the 19th minute when Munster stripped the ball from Jacob Kiraz 10 metres out from Lebanon's line and sent the ball to the 'Foxx' for his third.
Addo-Carr bags a handful
A clean line break by Isaah Yeo put Australia on the front foot before Mitchell powered over on the left edge to make it 18-0 after 24 minutes before Angus Crichton powered into a gap and delivered a superb offload for Cameron Murray to score next to the posts.
The Rabbitohs skipper had a second soon after when he took a pass from Harry Grant and plunged over for an easy try as the Kangaroos made it 30-0 at the break.
A shocking pass out of dummy half by Reece Robinson in the opening minutes of the second term opened the door for Mitchell to swoop and pass the ball to Addo-Carr who cruised in for a fourth try.
Murray scores a brace
Two of Lebanon's NRL stars combined in the 52nd minute when Mitchell Moses put in a well weighted grubber for Josh Mansour to chase through and touch down after Munster failed to clean it up.
Addo-Carr's remarkable night continued on the hour mark after Grant made a line break and found Munster who put in a left foot grubber for his former Storm team-mate to chase down and make it five. Cleary's conversion made it 42-4.
Back-rower Liam Martin got his name on the scoresheet in the 69th minute when he crossed from close range and Cleary piloted his sixth conversion of the night for a 48-4 scoreline.
Lindsay Collins was denied a try in the 75th minute when he was penalised for a double movement as the Kangaroos fell just short of the half century.
To the Cedars' credit they hung tough right to the final siren, outscored only 18-4 in the second half by an Australian side that came up with a numebr of uncharacteristic errors.
Match: Australia v Lebanon
Quarter Finals -
Venue: John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield
- Kangaroos winger is now the tournament's leading tryscorer with nine, one ahead of England flyer Dominic Young.
- Lebanon lost their captain's challenge in the 29th minute when Mitch Moses claimed Isaah Yeo had played at a kick and the Cedars should have received six more tackles but he was unsuccessful.
- The Kangaroos had 15 play-the-balls inside Lebanon's 20 metres in the opening half while the Cedars had nine inside Australia's 20.
- The Kangaroos finished the night with 51 tackle breaks compared to seven for Lebanon.
- Australia skipper James Tedesco sat out the second half after copping a knock to his knee. Cameron Munster moved to fullback in the second term with Daly Cherry-Evans joining Nathan Cleary in the halves.
- The only previous meeting between Australia and Lebanon was a 34-0 win to the Kangaroos at the 2017 World Cup.
- Josh Mansour has taken his career tally to eight tries in eight Test matches for Lebanon.
- Josh Addo-Carr's five-try haul equalled Valentine Holmes' effort against Samoa in the 2017 World Cup quarter-final. He is now the tournament's top tryscorer with 11.
- The Kangaroos made 13 errors and completed at 68 per cent.
Play of the Game
Cameron Murray's first try in the 30th minute was beautifully constructed by the Kangaroos, who had clicked into top gear after a slow start. Halfback Nathan Cleary took the ball across field and put edge forward Angus Crichton into a hole, the hard-running Rooster stepping around Cedars fullback Jacob Kiraz before delivering a sweet offload to Murray as he went to the ground. Murray offered plenty of impact off the bench and he had a second try just three minutes later as his footwork close to the line proved too much for the tiring Cedars defence.
What They Said
"I'm grateful for the five tries. We worked really hard through the middle and I'm just grateful to be on the wing, all I have to do is catch the ball and put it down. I just love playing with these boys, I think we've got something special here. From the very first day going into camp, I think we have a bond like no other. I get to do what I love doing, that's playing football, and hanging around with my mates having fun. I'm in England, never in a million years did I think I'd be in the UK playing the sport I love and representing my family at the same time. I'm loving my time and I just don't want it to end." - Kangaroos winger and player of the match Josh Addo-Carr
Meninga speaks post game
"They're a quality side and we were just hanging in there in the second half. They taught us a lesson tonight on how to play footy but we've qualified now for the next World Cup and that's massive. That's what we wanted to come here and do and we've achieved that, made the quarter-finals against a really good Australian side. For me to captain this side is something I will cherish forever. Michael Cheika was unbelievable, the way he can get you up for a game, I've never seen it before. I loved working under him and I think he's got a big future in the NRL if he wants to go at it." - Lebanon captain Mitch Moses
The Kangaroos move into the semi-finals where they await the winner of the quarter-final between New Zealand and Fiji. That match takes place at Elland Road in Leeds next Saturday morning (AEDT).
The Cedars exit the tournament with heads held high and can set sail for the 2025 World Cup in France having already qualified for that tournament. With Mitch Moses and Adam Doueihi in the halves and Michael Cheika in the coach's box, Lebanon have the building blocks in place to again make some noise in 2025.