Australia 54-6 Fiji: Australia into World Cup final after easing past Fijians
By Ben Proe
Last Updated: 24/11/17 11:49am
Australia's Valentine Holmes smashed the world record for the second time in a week after crossing for an unprecedented six tries as the 10-time world champions cruised into another final with 54-6 win over Fiji.
Just as against the Kiwis, an Apisai Koroisau penalty put Mick Potter's men up 2-0 early - but there would be no repeat of last week's shock, as the heavy tournament favourites then crossed twice in five minutes either side of the quarter-hour mark.
North Queensland's Michael Morgan claimed both assists, putting Billy Slater away for a 15th World Cup try, before a pinpoint cross-field kick evaded Suliasi Vunivalu, and Holmes pounced in the corner.
Two from two from the boot of Cameron Smith gave Australia a 10-point cushion - and another quick-fire double with 15 left put the Kangaroos in half-time control at 22-2; clinical execution from Holmes followed up by a superb line from opposite wing Dane Gagai, who took a brilliant Cooper Cronk pass to double his tournament tally.
Inside 60 second-half seconds, a loose pass from Fiji skipper Kevin Naiquama had gifted Holmes a 90-metre hat-trick special - the first of three Australia tries inside 10 minutes, Slater doubling up straight from a scrum for a record-extending 16th World Cup touchdown, before Holmes made it four with 30 minutes left.
Mick Potter's men did stem the tide on the hour courtesy of a sensational finish from NRL top scorer Vunivalu - but a fifth and sixth from Holmes either side of a Gagai's second made it 10 tries to one for Mal Meninga's men, who look in predictably ominous form as they return to Brisbane next Saturday to face the winner of tomorrow's semi-final between England and Tonga.