Rugby League World Cup: Australia vs. Ireland Result and Post-Match Reaction

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Rugby League World Cup: Australia vs. Ireland Result and Post-Match Reaction
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Australia crushed Ireland 50-0 at the Rugby League World Cup in Limerick to cement the top spot in Group A.

The Kangaroos ran in nine tries through Jarryd Hayne (2), Cooper Cronk (2), Greg Bird, Brett Morris, Billy Slater, Daly Cherry-Evans and Andrew Fifita as the Irish were eliminated from the tournament.

The hosts' elimination was all but secured after defeats to Fiji and England, and the 26-point victory margin they needed to reach the last eight was the stuff of dreams.

Mark Aston's side fell behind at Thomond Park to the nine-time World Cup winners inside one minute as Hayne crossed in the corner.

Cronk made it 10 points in as many minutes, but the Irish were stout in defence before Bird and Morris pierced their rearguard in quick succession.

Slater scored with the last act of the opening half to make it 26-0 at the interval, and the procession continued after the break.

Ireland had kept Australia at bay for 16 minutes, but Cronk added a second try before Cherry-Evans collected his own kick to score the Kangaroos' seventh try.

Fifita took the Aussie total past the 42 that England scored against Ireland before Hayne brought up the half-century eight minutes from time with his second try.

Australia scrum-half Cherry-Evans told the BBC that he was looking forward to the knockout stage:

We have been lucky enough to win all three pool matches and it is a good platform for the rest of the tournament. [Quarter-final opponents] USA been the surprise package of the tournament and we have to be at the top of our game to beat them.

Tim Sheens' men now head for a quarter-final against the United States next Saturday in Wrexham.

They will start that match as huge favourites, and with either France, Samoa or Fiji awaiting in the semi-finals, Australia have the easier side of the draw with a New Zealand vs. England last-four encounter tipped.

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