The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Kangaroos were dominant throughout their win and took the lead in only the second minute after Clint Lovering set up Jonathan Crawley in the left corner. Lovering converted the first of 11 goals he would score in the match.
The game was held up for five minutes after Martin Hatfield suffered a leg injury that is expected to keep him out of the Australia side for the rest of the tournament. However this did not distract the Kangaroos at all as Jordan Atkens ran through the Wales defence to ground just two minutes later.
It was 16 minutes before Wales actually got into the Australian half, and when they did, they got close to the line but a Pete Moore grubber kick on the fifth tackle was easily picked up by the Australian defence.
Australia took an 18-0 lead in the 21st minute. Jonathan Brinkworth was penalised for not playing the ball correctly and from the resulting scrum, Chris Fleming powered over.
Fleming ran in for his second just two minutes later, Ali Kourouche ran 50 metres for his first try in the 31st minute and Crawley scored his secondjust before half-time to give Australia a 36-0 lead at the interval.
Wales started stronger in the second half and crossed the line twice in the first five minutes but each time, Andrew Bond failed to score, just failing to get the ball on the first occasion and dropping the ball when he really should have scored just minutes later.
Australia made them pay from the resulting scrum as Fleming finished off a good move, powering over for his hat-trick to make it 42-0.
After this, Australia scored a try every five minutes right up until the 73rd minute, Wales not getting a look in as Burnett Wheary, Ben Groves and two more tries each by Fleming and Kourouche gave the Kangaroos a dominating 74-0 lead.
However Wales refused to give up and their proud effort was rewarded with a try from Dewi Scourfield in the 76th minute producing the loudest cheer of the afternoon. His Cardiff Demons team-mate Matt Jackson converted to make the final score 74-6.
Jackson, the Wales man of the match said: "We've had a couple of tough games and we've all fought hard. Australia were superb today and we have to take the positives from this game into the Ireland match on Tuesday. If we work hard, I think we'll beat the Irish to get into the Shield Final on Friday."
AUSTRALIA: John Crawley, Nathan Tolley, Jordan Atkins, Martin Hatfield, Kevin Stephenson, Sam Williams, Shane Wooden, John Ellis, Chris Fleming, Quin Smith, Luke Hilton, Matt McKimmon, Clint Lovering. Subs (all used): Jim Nahme, Burnett Wheary, Ben Groves, George Ghazal, Ali Kourouche, Mitch Gaal.
Tries: Crawley (2, 39), Atkins (12), Fleming (22, 24, 46, 66, 73), Kourouche (31, 62, 70), Wheary (51), Groves (56) Goals: Lovering 11/13
WALES: Matt Jackson, Andrew Bond, Geraint Davies, Dean Scully, Austin Saunders, Phil Carleton, Pete Moore, Dewi Scourfield, Mark Burke, Dennis Pugh, Jonathan Brinkworth, Neil Hesketh, Neil Davies. Subs (all used): Daniel ap Dafydd, Gareth Thirsk, Jason Massey, Gavin Curry.
Tries: Scourfield (76) Goals: Jackson 1/1
Gamebreaker: Australia's third try started the onslaught and determined that there was only going to be one winner.
Gamestar: Chris Fleming with five tries for the Kangaroos.
Men of the match: Australia - Chris Fleming. Wales - Matt Jackson. Referee: Stephane Vincent (France). Half-time: 36-0.
NEW ZEALAND 70 SCOTLAND 4 by Ian Golden in Brisbane
The dominance started after only 65 seconds when Tala Paleaasina scored in the corner and after Jamie McDonald added another try just six minutes later an onslaught was expected.
However Scotland hit back in the tenth minute after Calum Morrison forced his way over in the corner.
But that solitary try was all Scotland could muster as the rest of the game belonged to New Zealand. Aitkens set up McGregor for a try in the 15th minute before scoring one himself five minutes later. Nathan added his second in the 23rd minute and Paleaasina followed suit in the 28th.
Scotland threatened a min-revival, attacking strongly and Andy Grey got within centimetres of scoring. Dougie Flockhard also came close but couldn't quite get to a McPhail grubber kick.
Scott Harrell?s 33rd minute try was the last score for 20 minutes as it wasn't under 13 minutes after half-time that Jimmy O?Brien converted his own try to make it 48-4.
O'Brien repeated this five minutes later before Daniel McGregor made it 60-4 in the 61st minute.
Aitkens raced 40 metres to score his second in the 75th minute and Paleaasina did likewise just seconds from the end to complete a dominant win for the Kiwis.
NEW ZEALAND: Paul Aitkens, Sam Jacobsen, Scott Harrell, Mike Nathan, Tim Cahill, Daniel McGregor, Jamie McDonald, Chris Tupou, Jimmy O'Brien, Tala Paleaasina, James Kolomantangi, Aina Masina, Andrew Auimatagi. Subs (all used): Sam Jacobsen, Henry Heke, George Taunga, Sione Taynya, Mikaere October, Daniel Bell.
Tries: Paleaasina (1, 28, 79), McDonald (7), Nathan (13, 23), McGregor (15, 61), Aitkens (20, 75), Hurrell (33), O'Brien (53, 58). Goals: McDonald 5/8, O'Brien 4/5
SCOTLAND: David Ford, Calum Morrison, Dougie Thompson, Dougie Flockhard, Andy McPhail, Mike Murphy, Lee Spence, Mike Wallace, Bobby Bahadori, Andy Grey, Dave Simm, Stuart Dunbar, Chris Fletcher. Subs (all used): Barry Earl, Tony Williams, Dave Jones, Dave Birchall, Ross Marshall, Sam Onions.
Tries: Morrison (10)
Gamebreaker: Like the Australia v Wales match before it, the game was a foregone conclusion midway through the first half.
Gamestar: Mike Nathan with a brace of tries to cap a fine performance.
Man of the match: New Zealand - Mike Nathan. Scotland - Dougie Flockhart. Referee: Gary Owram (England). Half-time: 42-4
WALES TO PLAY IRELAND TWICE IN A WEEK
First up in the semi-final of the Student World Plate, the consolation tournament for the sides that didn't qualify for the World Cup semi-finals in Brisbane, Australia.
Wales finished third in Group A with one win and two defeats while Ireland lost all of their Group B matches. They face off at Brisbane's Griffith University on Tuesday at 8pm. Who ever wins this match will go into the World Plate Final on Friday against the winners of the Pacific Islands v Scotland match that will be played immediately before the Wales v Ireland clash.
Wales will hope to welcome back some of their walking wounded on Tuesday. Five players were unable to play against Australia through injuries and sickness. Ben Smith and Ross Olney are two that should definitely be back in the squad.
Then on Saturday, the Welsh Conference select continue their defence of the Parkhouse Recruitment Conference Home Nations Championship when they make a tricky trip to Dublin to face an Ireland side who beat England two weeks ago. Wales beat Scotland 70-8 last month in their first match of the tournament so will be in a confident mood for the weekend. The squad for this match will be released later this week.
Wales Students expected squad for Tuesday: Matt Jackson, Andrew Bond, Geraint Davies, Dean Scully, Austin Saunders, Phil Carleton, Pete Moore, Dewi Scourfield, Mark Burke, Dennis Pugh, Jonathan Brinkworth, Neil Hesketh, Neil Davies, Daniel ap Dafydd, Gareth Thirsk, Jason Massey, Gavin Curry, Ben Smith, Ross Olney.
THIS WEEK'S INTERNATIONAL FIXTURES
STUDENT WORLD CUP
Cup Semi-Finals - Wednesday 13 July England vs New Zealand at Arana Hills RLFC, 6.30pm Australia vs France at Arana Hills RLFC, 8.15pm
PLATE PLAY OFF AND FINAL Friday 15 July at Griffith University Nathan Campus 6.30pm - For Positions 7 and 8 - Loser PSF 1 v Loser PSF 2 8.15pm - For Positions 5 and 6 - Winner PSF 1 v Winner PSF 2
FINAL AND 3RD PLACE PLAY OFF Saturday 16 July at Easts RLFC, Langlands Park, Brisbane 1.30pm - For Positions 3 and 4 - Loser CSF 1 v Loser CSF 2 3.15pm - WORLD CUP FINAL - Winner CSF 1 v Winner CSF 2
Parkhouse Recruitment Conference Home Nations Championship Dublin - Saturday 16 July Ireland vs Wales