16th December 03:15 AM
Australia too strong for the Fiji Bati
By Rusiate Baleilevuka
Saturday 25/11/2017
Valentine Holmes scores his 6th try for Australia

Valentine Holmes has become the first Australian to score six tries in a Test match as the Kangaroos advanced to the Rugby League World Cup final with a 54‑6 win over the Vodafone Fiji Bati in Brisbane last night.

Holmes's stunning return came on the back of his five‑try performance against Samoa last week, as the Kangaroos ran away with a 10‑tries‑to‑one victory.

The Fiji Bati started with intensity in the early exchanges and opened the scoring with a penalty goal in the second minute.

Jarryd Hayne was in the thick of it early with a big hit on Billy Slater but the Bati conceded too many penalties to stay in the contest.

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

The second try was easier, with Holmes rising high above Suliasi Vunivalu to score in the corner.

Holmes grabbed a first‑half double when he went over unmarked through some quick passing.

Dane Gagai then danced his way across the line, with a long Cooper Cronk pass giving the winger space to cut in on the inside in the 32nd minute.

 

The Australians kept up the pace in the second half, scoring two tries in five minutes.

Holmes celebrated a hat‑trick with a 90‑metre intercept try and Slater brushed the Fiji defence with speed to score his second.

The Bati registered their first try when Suliasi Vunivalu showed great hands – juggling the ball around his ankles – but Australia kept pressing for points.

Holmes then added three more tries to complete.

Kangaroos fullback Billy Slater says they stayed focused and made sure they got over Fiji.

Fiji Bati captain Kevin Naiqama says despite the result the players were proud to represent Fiji.

The Kangaroos will now await the winner of Tonga and England who will play at 6 this afternoon.

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