Full Time
5:30am Sat October 22, 2022
Pool Matches - Week 2 - Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry - Crowd: 10276

Match Overview

The Kangaroos have thrashed the Scottish Bravehearts 84-0 in Coventry to open week 2 of the Men's Rugby League World Cup.

Despite having the game wrapped up early on, Australia didn't relent, with their defence in particular looking impressive. In slippery wet conditions, the ballplayers looked slick in attack, with Mal Meninga facing some tough decisions in regard to who is in that best 17 for the Kangaroos. 

It was an awkward start to the game, with Australia's kick-off going too deep, but Scotland were ruled to have caught it before stepping dead in-goal, and thus conceding a drop-out. Australia got close to opening the scoring in their first set, but Nathan Cleary was denied by the video referee.

It was instead the 6th minute when they opened the scoring - a Cleary cut-out pass hitting Addo-Carr on the left wing. Cleary would get another try assist just a few minutes later, when he hit Jack Wighton on a short ball to crash over. Next, it was Angus Crichton who joined the scoresheet, with the Cleary conversion making it 16-0 after as many minutes.

Any time Scotland found themselves in possession they just couldn't gain any metres. The Australian defence was like a brick wall, and the Kangaroos continued to attack as the first half progressed. Campbell Graham and Nathan Cleary both crossed for their first tries, and Australia led 28-0 after 30 minutes. 

An uncharacteristic error on the set after points from the Kangaroos gave Scotland their first attacking set, but they turned it over almost straight away before Josh Addo-Carr streaked away down the sideline to score his second. Wighton then got his second in the following set, making it 40-0 with a handful of minutes remaining in the first half.

Scotland tried to turn the momentum on a few occasions, with some successful short kick-offs and dropouts working in their favour. They managed to stem the flow in the final minutes of the opening half, and so it was 40 points in 40 minutes from the Kangaroos at the break. 

Australia wasted no time adding to the scoreboard in the second half, with James Tedesco making a break up the middle in their first set, before crossing the line a few tackles later. In their second set of the half, it was a second try, this time from Ben Hunt fresh off the bench. Things settled down slightly, with Scotland forcing a few stops, but their errors just kept inviting Australia back on the attack.

Josh Addo-Carr reached his hat trick in the 49th minute off an attacking scrum play. Some nice hands showcased the developing Kangaroos combinations, and it was Munster this time with the cut-out ball to his winger. Australia had 18 points from the first 11 minutes of the second half, but Scotland seemed to find some defensive resolve, and it wouldn't be until the 60th minute that Australia crossed again.

Kane Linnet was sin-binned for Scotland after tackling a player without the ball, and Graham crossed for his second in the succeeding tackles. Things started to get fiery, with both teams' forward packs exchanging some pushing and shoving, but Australia just kept playing great footy and Burton crossed for a debut try in the 66th. 

Up 68-0 with 13 minutes remaining, Australia kept tearing through Scotland's tired middle forwards, and beating their edges with slick hands and speed. Graham sealed his hat-trick and Yeo bagged his first in consecutive sets to bring up the 80 for Australia. But it was the fourth and final Josh Addo-Carr try which will light up highlight reels for years to come.

A cross field kick from the Kangaroos was miraculously kept in by Matt Burton, who threw it back between his legs to the waiting Addo-Carr. With defenders in front of him, he put in a grubber for himself, beating his opposing winger to ground the ball and put the cherry on top for the Australians.

With that win, Australia now have 14 RLWC victories in a row. A win against Italy next week would make it 15, and would become the outright longest World Cup winning streak - surpassing their own record set in 2008. The Kangaroos are on a charge for the World Cup, but the question remains - can anyone get in their way?

3. Josh Addo-Carr

2. Jack Wighton

1. Nathan Cleary