South Tuggeranong Knights junior Josh Dugan set up three tries as Australia cruised to a 54-6 win against Fiji to book a place in the final of the World Cup.
Fiji were simply outclassed throughout the match by their star-studded counterparts, the Bati unable to cope with the formations, skills and pace of the Kangaroos.
Jarryd Hayne and Billy Slater renewed old rivalries when Hayne put a shoulder charge on the Kangaroos’ fullback just 90 seconds into the contest.
Fiji took an early lead after Valentine Holmes lost possession whilst returning a kick, the Bati earning a penalty right in front of the posts soon after. They took the easy two points and went to an early lead after seven minutes.
Billy Slater was first to score in the 14th minute when Michael Morgan broke through a tackle, offering the fullback space on the left edge after Fiji winger Suliasi Vunivalu shot out of the defensive line. The misread by Vunivalu proved costly as Australia took a 6-2 advantage.
Just a few minutes later, Vunivalu was out-done again when he failed to catch a cross-field kick and Valentine Holmes took an easy take behind the winger to score.
Down 12-2 midway through the first half, Fiji were doing their best to hold Australia out but they eventually succumbed – a shift from the Roos’ leading to another Valentine Holmes’ try.
A decisive run and deadly step from Dane Gagai in the 33rd minute allowed Australia to continue to pile on the pressure, moving to a 22-2 convincing margin just before halftime.
Holmes nabbed his 3rd try shortly after the break, Australia going ahead another six points at 28-2.
Billy Slater scored an exciting breakaway try at the 47-minute mark, before Valentine Holmes grabbed a fourth just a few minutes later.
Suliasi Vunivalu put Fiji on the try-scorer’s list, crossing over in the 59th minute to make it 40-6.
Amazingly, and for the second-week in a row, Valentine Holmes scored his fifth try. The lead for Australia out to 40-points after the conversion.
Gagai secured his second try with another quick-footed step, notching the half-century for Australia.
It was Holmes who would put his signature on the match and his name in the record books forever, scoring his sixth try a few minutes before fulltime to cap a brilliant individual performance.
Australia will now face England in the final which takes place in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.