Kangaroos batter Italy in RLWC masterclass

The question of who will be Mal Meninga’s midfielder is nowhere near the answer as Nathan Cleary and Daly Cherry-Evans reached a stalemate in Australia’s 66-6 win over Australia. ‘Italy.

In the last game of the group, the Kangaroos beat a feisty Azzurri, but were forced to work on it on a cold night in front of 5,586 fans in St Helens.

Winger Murray Taulagi and Campbell Graham have both scored twice as many goals to bolster their inclusion claims for next weekend, a game that is likely to pit Meninga’s men against Michael Cheika’s Lebanon.

Meninga’s concern after a 12-try dominance could be that Isaah Yeo lock was placed on referee Liam Moore’s report for a crushing tackle in the second half.

Parramatta Reagan Campbell-Gillard’s prop, who didn’t return after the halftime break, also hit a thigh cap.

Campbell-Gillard is undoubtedly for the quarter-finals next Friday (AEDT on Saturday), but it is unknown who will be Australia’s first-choice defender for this match.

Cherry-Evans appeared in Australia’s first two attempts and looked the safest customer when he returned to play five rounds in Cameron Munster’s absence.

Manly’s skipper sent a cross kick to Valentine Holmes to pick up in the air and score the match opener after eight minutes before combining with Latrell Mitchell to send Taulagi for Australia the second.

Cleary failed to convert the first two tries, but finished with nine of 12 attempts after warming up for the game.

Penrith’s playmaker sent Australia captain and former Italian international James Tedesco on 20 minutes, adding the extras before an impressive kick strangled Italy.

Spotting the blue winger Luke Polselli out of position, Cleary forced a drop from his own half with a powerful starting field.

Graham marked the retirement with Mitchell and Taulagi before half-time to give Australia a 30-0 lead.

Yeo and Liam Martin pushed the Aussies further, but the biggest joy of the evening came when Rinaldo Palumbo, born in Campbelltown, scored for the Italians diving from a kick into the goal area in the 53rd.

It was the only moment of joy for the Italians when Cameron Murray, Graham, Lindsay Collins and Jeremiah Nanai moved on to further emphasize Australia’s dominance.

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