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PNG 6-46 Australia

Australia (22) 46
Tries: Williams 3, Monaghan 2, Prince 2, Tupou
Cons: Thurston 7

Papua New Guinea (0) 6
Try: Yere Con: Wilshere

Highlights - Australia 46-6 Papua New Guinea

Australia rounded off the group stages at the World Cup with a comfortable win over a spirited Papua New Guinea side.

Two tries apiece from debutant David Williams and Joel Monaghan gave the world champions a 22-0 half-time lead.

Scott Prince's brace stretched the lead, while Williams completed his hat-trick before the Kumuls grabbed a deserved try through Menzie Yere.

Anthony Tupou rounded off the scoring for Australia, who will face either Fiji or Ireland in the semi-final.

Some pre-match predictions had suggested a winning margin of 100 points, but the tears in the eyes of some of the PNG players during the national anthems suggested the Kumuls were in no mood to roll over in Townsville.

Some ferocious early defence set the tone for a courageous PNG display, with Australia monopolising possession and territory.

Steviemacs_in the gulf
The Kumuls did well to hold out for just short of 10 minutes, but Australia went in front when Johnathan Thurston hoisted a high kick to the corner and Manly winger Williams leapt highest to claim his maiden try for Australia.

Thurston added the conversion and the world champions were on their way.

Two minutes later only a forward pass denied Williams a second try but Australia doubled their advantage when Monaghan went over for their second midway though the half as he spun his way through a tackle in the other corner.

Crisp passing soon put Monaghan over for his second and with Thurston adding both conversions from wide out the Kangaroos led 18-0.

Williams grabbed his second when he finished off an overlap before the break, but PNG's brave defence made Australia work every step of the way.

Stanley Gene is a legend of the sport in PNG
Gene retired from Test rugby at the end of the game
Prince read a long pass by PNG veteran Stanley Gene and intercepted to score shortly after the restart, with Thurston adding the extras. He was on target again when Prince finished off some fine handling to complete his double after 53 minutes.

Williams completed his hat-trick late on, with Thurston continuing his fine form with the boot as he landed the conversion from the touchline.

The Kumuls refused to give in though, showing a tremendous attitude throughout and they grabbed a deserved consolation as Yere latched onto Rod Griffin's grubber kick for a converted score, but the final word went to Australia as Tupou blasted over.

Thurston landed his seventh conversion in eight attempts as Australia finished their romp through the group stage with a third comprehensive victory.

The inimitable Gene was carried off the pitch on his PNG team-mates' shoulders after calling time on a long and proud international career, and the gallant display of his side made it a fitting exit for one of the sport's great characters.

Papua New Guinea: Wilshere, Moore, Yere, Kui, Maori, Gene, Peters, Chan, Aiton, Exton, Costigan, Nightingale, Griffin.
Replacements: Prior, Slain, Parker, Aston.

Australia: Hunt, Boyd, Tate, Monaghan, Williams, Campese, Thurston, Kite, Smith, Perry, Watmough, Tupou, Fitzgibbon.
Replacements: Prince, Price, Gallen, Folau.

Referee: S Ganson (England)

Rugby League World Cup : Group A Table
09 November 2008 10:42
  Team P PD PTS
1 Australia 3 112 6
2 New Zealand 3 30 4
3 England 3 -50 2
4 Papua New Guinea 3 -92 0

Rugby League World Cup : Group B Table
05 November 2008 12:59
  Team P PD PTS
1 Fiji 2 34 2
2 Scotland 2 -16 2
3 France 2 -18 2

Rugby League World Cup : Group C Table
05 November 2008 09:52
  Team P PD PTS
1 Ireland 2 16 2
2 Tonga 2 -6 2
3 Samoa 2 -10 2

see also
World Cup pictures
09 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
PNG v Australia as it happened
09 Nov 08 |  Rugby League

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