Australia thrash Fiji 54-6 to reach World Cup final


Veteran full-back Billy Slater touched down twice to take his total in World Cup tournaments to 16 and pull two clear of his former team-mate Jarryd Hayne, who had an ineffective game for Fiji, while Australia's other winger, Dane Gagai, also grabbed a brace.

Like their semi-final, the final is also due to take place at the Brisbane Stadium.

The two-time Dally M Medal victor clashed with Slater again soon after to concede another penalty, with goal kicking skipper Cameron Smith accepting both gifts to help build an early 12-2 lead.

Australia showed no remorse as they put away Fiji 54-6 in a commanding display, highlighted by 6 tries to winger Valentine Holmes, ensuring they would feature in yet another Rugby League World Cup Final.

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Fiji shocked New Zealand last weekend, but they were no match for Mal Meninga's men, Suliasi Vunivalu scoring a consolation as they were outscored by 10 tries to one, four years after being thumped 64-0 by Australia in the last four.

Fiji had no answer to the rampant Roos and they slumped to a third successive semi-final nightmare.

The Knights' cult figure scored 10 tries in 20 games in 2017, following up his stellar 2016 campaign when he dotted down nine times in 19 matches.

"Really we've just got to throw the ball to Valentine Holmes, that's 11 tries in two matches now, isn't it?"

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Still has some work to do defensively but is certainly one of the brightest young full-backs across Europe. Cesc Fabregas netted another penalty, before Willian rounded off scoring.

But the Aussies, who have only conceded three tries in five games, are the masters at snuffing out opposition.

Slater crossed for the Kangaroos' first in the 15th minute on the left flank - becoming the World Cup's leading try-scorer of all time - as Australia exploited an overlap.

Smith's third successful conversion put the tournament favourites 22-2 up at half-time and the onslaught continued after the break, the rapid Holmes racing nearly the full length of the field for a hat-trick after plucking a stray pass from Kevin Naiqama just a minute into the second half. Holmes celebrated a hat-trick with a 90-metre intercept try and Slater brushed the Fiji defence with speed to score his second.

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It was at this point that Piven asked Taneie to be removed from set for trying to hit on him. Piven's representatives did not immediately respond to Variety's request for comment.