Australia 30-6 New Zealand MATCH REPORT
Scotland 18-36 France MATCH REPORT
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1107: Well that's it for me today. Thanks very much for reading and don't forget that Ireland are in action on Monday with a fixture against Tonga.
The Aussies have certainly put a marker down today - an illustration of what will be needed if they are to be toppled. And well done to Scotland as well, they pushed France all the way in Canberra and can take a lot of positives from their performance.
1057: The Australians have opened their campaign with a clinical and efficient display against a New Zealand team who really thought they had a chance but turned out to be second best by some considerable distance.
The Kangaroos were awesome in defence, often getting four or five into the tackle. That will slow down the ruck speed that England plan to rely on when they meet the Aussies in Melbourne next Sunday.
The Aussies were also increasingly expansive in attack, with half-backs Darren Lockyer and Johnathan Thurston laying a very solid platform. Three-quarters Greg Inglis and Israel Folau were awesome.
FULL-TIME Australia 30-6 New Zealand
79mins: Australia 30-6 New Zealand
A brilliant fast pass from Billy Slater plays in Israel Folau for another try. Cameron Smith converts.
79 mins: Lance Hohaia runs the ball out of play from Joel Monaghan's kick. Australia finishing strongly. They have showed superb co-ordination in attack and understanding in defence, brilliantly slowing down ruck play.
77 mins: The Kiwis on the attack again. Bit late now.
76 mins: Poor old Anthony Tupou. He is absolutely flattened by a pummelling tackle from Manu Vatuvei.
74 mins: New Zealand win a penalty and finally attack the Australian line. Benji Marshall slips the ball to Jerome Ropati, who appears to score. But the decision is sent upstairs and replays show that Billy Slater prevents Ropati from scoring with a sliding soccer-style tackle. Australia are awarded a 20-metre restart.
72 mins: Johnathan Thurston is replaced. It has been a very clinical performance by both Thurston and fellow half-back Darren Lockyer.
70 mins: The Kiwis have a chance to relieve some pressure but knock-on at the play-the-ball. The second half has been played more or less entirely in the New Zealand half.
66 mins: Manu Vatuvei knocks on in his own goal-line. The Aussies are on the attack and cross for a try through Cameron Smith but video referee Steve Ganson rules it out for a knock-on by Greg Inglis, who lost control of the ball.
66 mins: Glenn Stewart is held up inches short of the Kiwi line. Another try looks to be very much on the cards but the Aussies are penalised for a penalty. The Kiwis look shattered.
62 mins: Nathan Fien concedes another penalty. With the game effectively won we might see some great skills from the Aussies now.
60mins: Australia 24-6 New Zealand
The Kiwis are starting to fall off tackles, and Johnathan Thurston runs brilliantly through broken play. His pass hits Billy Slater on the thigh. The full-back scoops up the ball and then runs through to score. Thurston adds the conversion.
56 mins: Brent Tate knocks on - blessed relief for NZ I would have thought. But then the Kiwis knock on. Wasteful. Tate really does not know where he is. He needs help to get to his feet and that will be the end of his night.
55 mins: Looking at the Aussie centre duo of Folau and Inglis - and comparing them to Keith Senior and Martin Gleeson - I am slightly concerned. To say the least.
A brilliant chase by Billy Slater following Darren Lockyer's kick leads to a goal-line drop-out.
52 mins: Both teams work through several sets, a period of relative calm after several minutes of complete Australian dominance. The Kiwis need some inspiration and might have a chance after Israel Folau is penalised.
47 mins: Australia 18-6 New Zealand
A careless pass and Greg Inglis intercepts. The Aussies work the ball from left to right and, a couple of tackles later, Israel Folau, arm outstretched, scores. Johnathan Thurston misses with the conversion.
46 mins: The Aussies demonstrate some awesome off-loading skills - particularly Greg Inglis - and the Kiwis are pinned down on their own try line.
44 mins: Johnathan Thurston almost bursts through after a crafty dummy but Thomas Leuluai just manages to bring him down.
41 mins: NZ complete their set but Thomas Leuluai's kick goes dead. The Aussies attack and Israel Folau breaks down the right but his pass is wayward. The Aussies break across the field and hooker Cameron Smith knocks-on.
40 mins: Darren Lockyer gets the second-half under way.
"I believe England will be a much different proposition next week. PNG simply had too much enthusiasm for England. It was PNG's cup final."
Dave, St Helens, via text on 81111
0958: NZ coach Stephen Kearney has a big job to do at half-time if his team are to turn this one around. They had to do a lot of defending in the opening 40 minutes while the cohesion in the Australian attacking line looked pretty fluid. Ominous.
"You've got to think that, after England's performance yesterday and with these two heavyweights clashing today, we are seeing a dress rehearsal for the final."
Barry, Wellingborough, via text on 81111
Plenty yet to unfold in this tournament Barry. The Kiwis have hardly impressed so far and I'm confident England will improve. Lets face it, they will have to.
HALF-TIME Australia 14-8 New Zealand
The scoreboard is hardly a reflection of what happened during the opening half. Australia dominated in all areas, while New Zealand hardly helped their cause by conceding a series of stupid penalty. Gift field position to the Aussies and you will be punished.
39 mins: Benji Marshall is close to a 40-20 but Billy Slater mops up. Time for one last set in the half by the Kangaroos.
37 mins: Another penalty to Australia, this time close to the Kiwi line. A try seems imminent but Billy Slater's pass to Brent Tate is poor and goes out of play.
34 mins: Josh Perry is penalised for lying on and NZ now have an attacking set in good field position. Australia defend their line and Billy Slater appears to kick the ball out from a low kick but Ashley Klein awards Australia head and feed, arguing the full-back did not deliberately boot the ball out.
30 mins: Australia 14-6 New Zealand
The Aussies work the ball out to the left and Joel Monaghan tries to ground the ball in the corner under pressure from two Kiwi tacklers. The decision is sent upstairs and Steve Ganson has a long look from several angles. Eventually he decides it is the ref's call and Ashley Klein awards a try. Johnathan Thurston converts from out wide.
26 mins: Brent Tate feels the full force of a tackle with Manu Vatuvei. Bang.
26 mins: Australia 8-6 New Zealand
We have seen virtually nothing of Benji Marshall but he springs to life. His inside pass finds Sika Manu, who barges through the Kangaroo defence to score. Steve Matai, who is suffering from a wrist injury, converts.
25 mins: A lucky escape. Kanagaroo full-back Billy Slater passes to Israel Folau, who looks certain to score but knocks-on under pressure.
22 mins: Darren Lockyer kicks the ball dead to relieve the pressure. An ineffective set by the Kiwis is followed by another penalty against NZ for a needless high tackle. They are gifting Australia pressure. As I write this another they concede yet another penalty. They are losing 5-1 on the penalty count.
19 mins: A knock-on from Glenn Stewart relieves the pressure on the Kiwis - and my how they needed that. A penalty to the New Zealand team follows and they finally have the chance to exert some pressure.
"That was a nasty high tackle and Matai is put on report, I have seen red cards for those. Australia do look good. At 8-0 they are well in control."
eirebilly on 606
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16 mins: Australia 8-0 New Zealand
Brent Tate is held up inches short but the Aussies work the ball out to the left flank andGreg Inglis steps inside and crosses for the first try of the match.Johnathan Thurston adds the extras.
14 mins: New Zealand concede another penalty. If they are hammered on the penalty count they will take a hiding. Steve Matai goes high on Paul Gallen, who is left flat out on the pitch. Matai goes on report and is told to "be careful" by referee Ashley Klein. Another penalty.
11 mins: Australia 2-0 New Zealand
Simon Mannering is penalised for interference. Australia opt to kick the penalty - a decision that leads to booing from the crowd. Johnathan Thurston, who has had a terrible few days, makes no mistake with his boot.
8 mins: The Aussies have numbers out wide and look ominous but Greg Inglis drops the ball under pressure. A real let off for New Zealand. Nathan Fien kicks out on the full and Australia attack again.
6 mins: Cracking grubber down the line from Steve Matai. Australia start their set on the 10-metre line.
5 mins: The game has started at a ferocious pace. Darren Lockyer sends a huge bomb towards the NZ line. The Kiwis allow the ball to bounce and luckily for them it goes dead with several Kangaroos lurking.
2 mins: NZ work through their set and Thomas Leuluai kicks the ball downfield. A ferocious chase follows and Billy Slater is smothered.
1 min: The match starts in Sydney. Steve Price has the first carry for Australia.
0901: Anthems over and we appear to be running slightly behind time. The NZ team do the Haka. How much of an influence will Benji Marshall have for New Zealand after his superb display against Tonga?
Australia: Billy Slater, Joel Monaghan, Greg Inglis, Israel Folau, Brent Tate, Darren Lockyer (captain), Jonathan Thurston, Petero Civoniceva, Cameron Smith, Steve Price, Glenn Stewart, Anthony Laffranchi, Paul Gallen.
Replacements: Brent Kite, Josh Perry, Anthony Tupou, Kurt Gidley.
New Zealand: Lance Hohaia, Sam Perrett, Steve Matai, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, Benji Marshall, Thomas Leuluai, Nathan Cayless (captain), Nathan Fien, Adam Blair, Simon Mannering, Sika Manu, Jeremy Smith.
Replacements: Dene Halatau, Greg Eastwood, Setaimata Sa, Sam Rapira.
0857: Both teams are out on the pitch. A very healthy crowd indeed is inside the stadium in Sydney as the national anthems are played.
0855: The opening ceremony is over and we are now minutes away from kick-off. Can NZ really upset the odds?
"It's three in the morning (Texas) and I'm following a text update to a sport that I have no understanding of."
Tej on 606
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Stick with it, it will all become clear. Over time.
0840 GMT: The opening ceremony is taking place in Sydney, lots of native dress and dance etc. I do find it a bit strange that it takes place after two games.
"Great to see to close opening matches, and I'm sure the third - Australia v New Zealand - will be just as close!"
worldwaugh4 on 606
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FULL-TIME: Scotland 18-36 France
Scotland can take a huge amount from their match with France. They showed great courage and determination against an opponent that had the edge physically. France, at times, showed the sort of cohesion that comes from having so many players at one club. Thomas Bosc was a particular handful with his kicking game.
80 mins: Scotland 18-36 France
France break up field through Sebastien Raguin. Swift hands and good support play culminates in Christophe Moly touching down. Thomas Bosc converts.
79 mins: The game is almost over and huge credit must go to Scotland, who are still pushing attacking, Danny Brough and Ian Henderson looking to find gaps in the French defence.
"I can't say I've ever paid any attention to Rugby League, but I can't go back to sleep this morning and have been following this match on my mobile phone. It seems amazing, ebbing and flowing the whole time between the teams. Best of luck to Scotland."
Anonymous via text on 81111
77 mins: A shattered Scotland outfit try to conjure a desperately needed try and Duffy picks out Michael Robertson, whose subsequent kick is picked up by Teddy Sadaoui.
75 mins: Scotland 18-30 France
Jerome Guisset scores a superb try. Michael Robertson has the ball in his hands in his own try zone but, as he tries to bring it into the field of play, has it stolen by skipper Guisset, who then touches down. Great power from the French forward. Thomas Bosc makes it five from five on the conversion front.
74 mins: Ian Henderson is penalised for lying on. France look to eat down the clock - and who can blame them.
70 mins: We have 10 minutes left and Danny Brough ends a set with a deep kick down the field. A great chase follows and it is game on. Justin Murphy breaks clear to relieve the pressure. A couple of tackles later Olivier Elima collects a pass from Thomas Bosc to score but the French player was already on the ground with the tackle called complete.
68 mins: Scotland have France close to their own goal line but John Monie's team win a relieving penalty.
66 mins: Julien Rinaldi returns for France to try to add some much-needed ruck speed. Scotland on the attack again. John Duffy touches down after a confusing phase of play. The decision is sent up to the video referee and hinges on Rinaldi knocking the ball from the hands of Mick Nanyn. The verdict is NO TRY - and the local crowd do not like it.
63 mins: Now it is the turn of the French to look shattered. John Steel runs across the face of the tired France defence after just about collecting a deep kick.
62 mins: Scotland 18-24 France
We have reached the final quarter of an entertaining fixture. Scotland on the charge again, with John Steel held up just short. The Bravehearts work the ball out to the other flank and Dean Colton scores in the right corner.Another great conversion from Danny Brough.
56 mins: A superb kick from deep results in a 40-20 for France but Scotland, tired and desperate, manage to survive the set.
54 mins: Scotland 12-24 France
That could well be the decisive score. Once again Thomas Bosc is the architect, with his kick collected by centre Sebastien Raguin for his first try of the tournament. Bosc converts.
52 mins: Michael Robertson does well to collect a high kick under extreme pressure. This game is currently in the balance.
49 mins: Scotland have looked tired at different phases through this game but seem really energised at the moment. France try to score out wide but Teddy Sadaoui is barged into touch.
46 mins: Scotland 12-18 France
Oliver Wilkes collects a beautifully timed pass from Danny Brough and surges over from six yards. Brough takes then Scots to within one converted try with the conversion.
45 mins: Scotland pressure the France line but an ambitious kick from Danny Brough is too deep and goes dead.
42 mins: A cracking run up the middle from influential hooker Ian Henderson is eventually halted by a bad challenge from Remi Casty. Henderson is not amused and words are exchanged.
41 mins: The match resumes in Canberra with Danny Brough kicking off the half. I get the definite feeling that Scotland must score next if they are to seriously challenge.
HALF-TIME Scotland 6-18 France
A very physical half comes to an end. France seem to have too much power through the middle for Scotland and have shown better cohesion and timing.
39 mins: The clock ticking down to the break, with France looking to further extend their advantage.
36 mins: France are finishing the half with the wind in their sails - but John Monie's team are halted when Mick Nanyn claims a one-on-one steal to relieve the pressure for Scotland.
33 mins: Scotland 6-18 France
A 40-20 from Maxime Greseque and Scotland are under pressure once again. Scotland have to defend two sets on their line and almost do so. However, on the final tackle John Wilson collects a looping kick from Thomas Bosc. The video referee has a look at it and decides that although Wilson lost the ball he managed to wedge it between his knees in mid air and then re-gather to touch down without knocking on. Thomas Bosc further extends the lead.
28 mins: Scotland 6-12 France
Jerome Guisset collects a short pass five yards from the line and, running on to the ball at pace, has enough power to surge over the line. Thomas Bosc converts.
27 mins: Scotland on the charge, with Danny Brough sending in a superb cross-field kick that Teddy Sadaoui brilliantly collects to diffuse the situation. A pretty even contest at the moment.
24 mins: Danny Brough sends a perfectly weighted grubber kick through that the French fail to deal with. Michael Robertson appears to touch the ball as he tries to collect it before Duncan MacGillivary does scoop it up and crosses the line. The decision is sent up to the video referee, who has a long look before ruling NO TRY. The correct decision.
22 mins: An update on Eric Anselme. He seems to be OK and conscious but apparently will play no further part in the game.
20 mins: Scotland 6-6 France
Referee Leon Williamson pings Julien Rinaldi for a forward pass. Scotland capitalise. The ball passes through several hands, including Danny Brough and Lee Paterson, with Jonathan Steel touching down in the left corner. Danny Brough converts from out on the touchline. Super stuff.
16 mins: Scotland 0-6 France
A brilliant surging run through the middle from Adel Fellous sees him burst through the Scotland defence before slipping a pass to Jared Taylor, who sprints clear for the opening score. Thomas Bosc adds the extras.
15 mins: Scotland manage to defend their line, cracking stuff from the Bravehearts. They then see out a useful set and turn around the French with a deep kick.
13 mins: Gavin Cowan tackles Eric Anselme, who lands extremely heavily and lies motionless on the turf. The physios come on to the field and put a neck brace on the Leeds Rhinos player. Anselme is put on to a stretcher and leaves the field. We have had a delay of several minutes.
11 mins: Errors all over the shop. Danny Brough kicks out on the full but Justin Murphy gets a touch on the ball as he tries to keep it in. Scotland have cracking field position but knock-on straight away.
8 mins: Come on lads, this is the World Cup. France immediately lose the ball. After Scotland finish their set and France lose the ball early on. Neither team has settled yet.
7 mins: Adel Fellous concedes another penalty but Scotland cannot capitalise, with Iain Morrison knocking on with the first carry of the set. Error strewn start to say the least.
5 mins: Scotland defend a set on their line, winning a relieving penalty. They then work the ball down field and Danny Brough hoists a high one that France collect.
2 mins: Scotland have the first carry of the match but then concede a penalty through Julien Rinaldi at the end of their set and allow France to claim easy yards.
0625: The anthems are over - and the match is about to start.
0620 GMT: Not long now until kick-off. Can Scotland upset the odds and pull off victory against France in Canberra?
Scotland: M Robertson (Manly); D Colton (Doncaster), G Cowan (Wests Tigers), K Henderson (Wakefield), J Steel (Hull KR); J Duffy (Widnes), D Brough (Wakefield, capt); S Logan (Canberra), I Henderson (New Zealand Warriors), P Jackson (Huddersfield), I Morrison (Widnes), D MacGillivray (Wakefield), L Patterson (Widnes).
Replacements: O Wilkes (Wakefield), C Armit (Canterbury), M Nanyn (Oldham), A Henderson (Castleford).
France (Catalans players unless stated): J Taylor (Lezignan); J Murphy, J Wilson, S Raguin, T Sadaoui (Carcassonne); T Bosc, M Greseque (Pia); A Fellous (Lezignan), J Rinaldi (Harlequins), O Elima, J Guisset (capt), E Anselme (Leeds), G Mounis.
Replacements: J Wynne (Lezignan), R Casty, J Fakir, C Moly (Carcassonne).