80:00
Fri 17 November 2017
TIO Stadium - Crowd: 13473

Holmes scores five as Australia smash Samoa 46-0

Valentine Holmes has become the first player in World Cup history to score five tries in a game as Australia advanced through to the Semi Finals with a dominant 46-0 win in front of over 13,000 fans at Darwin Stadium.

Despite a relatively conservative start, the Kangaroos appeared well on top in the early stages of Friday night's game and it did not take them long to convert their dominance into points. A deft bomb by Cooper Cronk was batted back by Josh Dugan and brilliantly scooped up by Valentine Holmes who dived over in the corner in the 8th minute.  Only eight minutes later Holmes had a double.

It all started after Billy Slater displayed his class to sneak out of his own in-goal after a perfect kick from Samoan halfback Ben Roberts. Holmes took advantage of the disjointed Samoan defensive line to burst through the middle and find Cronk in support.

The classy halfback then linked back with Holmes who sprinted away to score out wide. Australia were beginning to look clinical after a planned move saw Matt Gillett pop the ball back for Slater to slice through and score in the 23rd minute.

The points continued to come and in the 29th minute Michael Morgan danced through the line to score before making it a double in the 35th minute after chasing through a Cameron Smith grubber. As a result, Australia held an unassailable 30-0 lead at the break. 

Samoa had early opportunities to post their first points in the second half. Yet they were unable to capitalise and Australia moved quickly to extend their lead after a bullet pass from Slater saw Holmes scored his third in the 51st minute.

Only six minutes later Holmes had four after Morgan found space in the middle and linked with Cronk who found the Cronulla winger backing up in support. Despite displaying considerable improvement in defence in the second half, Samoa could not deny history.

David Klemmer appeared to be taking a regular hit-up after a drop out yet surprised everyone by throwing a quick ball to Holmes who would step through the defence to be the first player in history to score five tries in a World Cup game. He would not get six, however, with the Kangaroos ending commanding 46-0 winners.

As a result, Australia advance through to the Semi-Finals to face the winner of the New Zealand vs Fiji match tomorrow night.

3. Billy Slater

Holmes may have scored five but Slater gets the Man of the Match for me. A fantastic effort from the fullback with 127 running metres, two line breaks, a try and a try-assist. He was threatening to burst through the line all night.

2. Valentine Holmes

He rewrote the history books with five tries and three line breaks... what else can I say.

1. Cameron Smith

A perfect kicking game from Smith saw the Kangaroos dominated field position all night. An absolutely professional performance.