Kangaroos kick off World Cup defence with big win over Fiji Bati


The Kangaroos have launched their World Cup title defence with a 42-8 win over a committed Fiji Bati outfit at Headingley Stadium.

A double to winger Josh Addo-Carr and a starring role off the bench by hooker Harry Grant provided the impetus for Australia’s victory.

Five-eighth Cameron Munster showed his class throughout the Test and was rewarded with the player of the match award.

After the Kangaroos conceded a penalty for offside the Bati worked their way down field and came up with a superb try in just the fourth minute when Siti Moceidreke put in a perfectly weighted grubber for Semi Valemei to follow through and score.

Valemei was in the action again in the 11th minute when he combined with Maika Sivo to deny Kangaroos centre Murray Taulagi a try in the corner with good scramble defence.

The Kangaroos opened their account in the 16th minute when back-rower Jeremiah Nanai celebrated his Test debut with a try on the right edge after some slick passing from Cameron Murray and Daly Cherry-Evans.

Nanai went within inches of making it a second in the 22nd minute but he was pulled up just short by Moceidreke and Ben Nakubuwai.

Two minutes later Australia had their second try when Josh Addo-Carr produced a length-of-the-field special after a quick shift from Latrell Mitchell.

A mistake by Pat Carrigan coming out of Australia’s end handed Fiji a chance to hit back but Brandon Wakeham couldn’t pick the ball up cleanly after Api Koroisau had grubbered expertly into the in-goal.

Angus Crichton grabbed his first Test try soon after as the Kangaroos stretched their lead to 18-4 at the half-time break.

The Kangaroos went further ahead early in the second half when Munster handled twice in a left side raid that resulted in Mitchell touching down for Australia’s fourth try.

A 40-20 by Harry Grant in the 53rd minute to put Australia on the attack and the hooker cashed in on his own good work by darting over from dummy half as the score blew out to 30-4.

Skipper James Tedesco produced a trademark weaving run from 10 metres out in the 61st minute to grab his fourth Test try and Australia led 36-4.

Fiji continued to fight to the end and Turuva grabbed a try after a deft grubber kick by Wakeham.