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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 October, 2003, 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK
Australia run Romania ragged
Australia 90-8 Romania

MATCH SUMMARY
Mat Rogers
Australia 90
Tries: Flatley, Rogers (3), Burke (2), Larkham (2), Mortlock, Roff, Giteau, Tuqiri, Smith
Cons: Flatley (10)
Pen: Flatley
Romania 8
Try: Toderasc
Pen: Tofan

Australia eased to a second win at the World Cup with a 13-try rout against Romania.

The Wallabies ran up the highest score of the tournament so far to leave their opponents not only beaten, but battered.

Romania had no answer to Australia's free-running backs who scored all but one of the tries in a record World Cup win for the men in green and gold.

Mat Rogers ran in a hat-trick, with Matt Burke and Stephen Larkham scoring two apiece in front of a delighted Brisbane crowd.

Romania are regular World Cup foes for Australia - the teams having met in each of the last two tournaments.

In 1999 Tim Horan gave the Wallabies the perfect start with a try within a minute.

Fast forward four years and Elton Flatley got the hosts on the scoreboard on 18 seconds to the delight of the Suncorp Stadium crowd.

It was a good start and we can't wait for the next match
George Gregan

The inside centre skipped through a gaping hole in the Romanian midfield to give his team an ideal start with the fastest World Cup try.

Clean breaks were to become a feature of the match with Flatley and Larkham repeatedly finding gaps in a threadbare Romanian defence.

Their probing breaks were the platform for an exhibition of running rugby among the backs.

Rogers and Burke scored two tries each in the opening 40 minutes when Romania also scored a touchdown.

Number eight Cristian Petre pounced on a loose Brendan Cannon line-out throw and Petrisor Toderasc burrowed over from close range when the ball was recycled.

But Cannon's mis-firing throw-in was a rare mistake on a memorable night for Australia. Although passes went astray, the majority went to hand.

Australia made a slow start to the second half, with Larkham, the orchestrator of much of their good work, getting on the scoresheet after eight minutes.

But when Romanian centre Valentin Maftei went to the sin-bin the whole tempo of the game sped up.

Stirling Mortlock, who had been sidelined with shoulder injuries for more than six months, replaced Burke and injected some real pace and panache to the back division.

The Romanians don't belong at Australia's level
Romania coach Bernard Charreyre

He touched down a try of his own within seven minutes of coming on and from there on the scoreboard kept ticking over at an alarming rate.

With Romanian legs growing weary, every time Australia touched the ball they threatened to score.

Joe Roff, Matt Giteau, Lote Tuqiri and Larkham again all got in on the act, but the pick of the bunch was a searing Rogers break from midway inside his own half to seal his hat-trick.

And after 12 tries shared among the backs, flanker George Smith rounded things off with a deserved final score.


Australia: M Rogers; W Sailor, M Burke, E Flatley, J Roff; S Larkham, G Gregan (capt); A Baxter, B Cannon, B Young, N Sharpe, D Vickerman, G Smith, P Waugh, D Lyons.
Replacements: J Paul, B Darwin, J Harrison, M Cockbain, M Giteau, S Mortlock, L Tuqiri.

Romania: D Dumbrava; G Brezoianu, V Maftei, R Gontineac (capt), C Sauan; I Tofan, L Sirbu; P Toderasc, R Mavrodin, S Florea; S Socol, C Petre; M Niculai, O Tonita, G Chiriac.
Replacements: C Popescu, M Socaciu, M Tudori, B Tudor, C Podea, M Vioreanu, I Teodorescu.





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