2021 RLWC Round 3, Australia 66 Italy 6 – Report

Lachlan Jeffery reviews Australia’s thrashing of Italy.


Australia 66
Tries: Murray Taulagi 2 (11, 39), Campbell Graham 2 (27, 67), Valentine Holmes (6), James Tedesco (18), Latrell Mitchell (35), Isaah Yeo (45), Liam Martin (50), Cameron Murray (57), Jeremiah Nanai (73), Lindsay Collins (79)
Goals: Nathan Cleary 9 (19, 29, 37, 47, 51, 59, 68, 75, 79)

Italy 6
Tries: Ronnie Palumbo (53)
Goals: Jack Campagnolo (54)


Embed from Getty Images

Australia has officially wrapped up top spot in Group B of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup with a 66-6 thrashing of a spirited Italian side at Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday night.

The Kangaroos piled on 12 tries to one as Nathan Cleary and Daly Cherry-Evans both played well in their attempts to wrap up the halfback role ahead of the quarter finals.

It was a gutsy start by Italy; however it only took seven minutes for Australia to open the scoring when Valentine Holmes reached up to grab a kick and score his first try of the tournament.

Just four minutes later they were in again, with a shift leading to Murray Taulagi seeing him score his first try in international footy. The score remained 8-0 off the back of two uncharacteristic Cleary conversion attempts.

Further possession saw James Tedesco score a try against the nation he represented at the previous two Rugby League World Cups.

Campbell Graham added Australia’s fourth try in the 28th minute, leaping above the Italians to take a short drop-out and race 15 metres to touch down.

Latrell Mitchell added his name to the scoresheet shortly before half-time, before setting up Taulagi’s second on the siren to take Australia to 30-0 at the break.

Italy began the second half with an enterprising play, however the Australian scrambling defence cut off the play.

Within 10 minutes, a pair of Penrith premiership forwards in Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin saw Australia’s lead extend to 42.

The Azzurri got their chance when they came up with a short kick-off, ultimately bringing the crowd to their feet when Ronnie Palumbo grounded an early Radean Robinson grubber.

Australia hit back through Cameron Murray shortly after, before denying another Italian raid down the right.

Italy put on some gutsy defence in the final 20 minutes, however they were eventually overrun as Australia piled on three further tries to Graham, player of the match Jeremiah Nanai, and Lindsay Collins as they wrapped up the 60-point win and a likely quarter final against Lebanon.

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