Rugby World Cup 2011
Australia romp past Russia
David Pocock (Gallo Images)
Nelson -Patched-up Australia cruised into the World Cup quarter-finals with a 68-22 win over hapless Russia here Saturday.
In the lop-sided romp, the Wallabies scored 10 tries, seven in the first half, as they put the hapless Russians to the sword even though they would not be happy with the way their game panned out.
The Wallabies led 47-5 at half-time but only just outscored the determined Russians 19-17 in the second half, and the rugby minnows were able to score three tries against the top tier Australians.
Australia must now wait on the outcome of Sunday's match between Ireland and Italy to determine whether they play South Africa or Wales in the quarter-finals. An Ireland win will mean South Africa next.
The Wallabies expect to be near full strength next week after a raft of injuries meant heavyweight backrower Radike Samo started on one wing and scrum-half Nick Phipps ended up on the other.
But even with the makeshift look there was never any doubt about the outcome, although Australia went off the boil after captain James Horwill, openside flanker David Pocock and hooker Stephen Moore were replaced at half-time.
Samo's first touch of the ball led to Australia's first try when he used his bulk on a 30-metre rampage down the right side of the field, taking play inside the Russian 22.
Luke Burgess switched play to the left and Berrick Barnes strolled through the scattered Russian defence to open the scoring.
O'Connor missed the conversion but was spot on for the rest of the half as Drew Mitchell, Ben McCalman, David Pocock twice, Stephen Moore and Adam Ashley Cooper scored and Australia led 47-5 at the break.
When they led 33-0 after 20 minutes their World Cup record of 142-0 over Namibia in 2003 appeared under threat, but Russia had other ideas.
Their first try on the half-hour mark came when Wallabies halfback Burgess latched on to turnover ball and appeared to have run Australia out of trouble with a 40-metre dash upfield before he slipped and lost possession.
With most of the Wallabies up in support, Russian wing Vladimir Ostroushko had only lagging lock Nathan Sharpe to beat as he raced nearly half the length of the field to score.
The Wallabies were on the board immediately the second half started with a try by replacement prop Salesi Ma'afu.
Konstantin Rachkov replied with a drop goal for Russia and Drew Mitchell immediately came back for Australia with his second try.
But from there the Wallabies lost their cohesion and to the delight of the crowd who firmly supported the underdog Russians, Denis Simplikevich intercepted a wayward Quade Cooper pass to score.
Konstantin Rachkov landed the conversion and then scored himself before Barnes ended the match with his second try.