/ Rugby

Australia 68-22 Russia

Updated: Saturday, 01 Oct 2011 17:20

Try - Salesi Ma'afu touches down
Try - Salesi Ma'afu touches down

Australia secured their passage to the quarter-finals of the World Cup but a stuttering win over a spirited Russia saw their opponents go close to a bonus point fourth try.

Russia got three tries - through Vladimir Ostroushko, Denis Simplikevich and Konstantin Rachkov - but Australia touched down 10 times, although the scoring somewhat dried up in a difficult second half in Nelson as rainfall became steadily heavier.

Things looked ominous for Russia from the kick-off as they were penalised for offside and they were punished with five minutes gone as Australia opened the scoring.

Berrick Barnes stepped inside from the left wing to touch down but James O'Connor missed the conversion.

Drew Mitchell added the second when he collected a kick over the top from Barnes and touched down in the corner, O'Connor making no mistake with the kick.

A flowing move started by a kick to Radike Samo on the right wing, including his one-handed offload, saw Australia tear Russia apart.

Quade Cooper selflessly passed in side to Ben McCalman to score under the posts and O'Connor added the extras.

David Pocock secured the bonus point try midway through the first half as he pushed two tacklers out of the way following an Australia line-out.

Australia's fourth try also secured their quarter-final place and O'Connor made it 26-0 with the kick.

Pocock forced his way over for his second try after Adam Ashley-Cooper had been held short of the line, O'Connor again kicking the extras.

But Russia got their first try after Luke Burgess lost the ball forward as he tried to run out of defence.

Winger Ostroushko picked up the loose ball and made for the wing before stepping inside for a clear run to the line to make it 33-5 six minutes before half-time.

Pocock burst through and looked set for his hat-trick but offloaded to Stephen Moore who scored the sixth try and O'Connor converted.

Ashley-Cooper touched down just before half-time when he gathered Cooper's kick through. O'Connor made it six from seven kicks as Australia led 47-5 at half-time.

Salesi Ma'afu stretched over for Australia's eighth try after referee Bryce Lawrence had twice played an advantage and O'Connor converted as Australia continued the scoring after the break.

Rachkov's drop goal brought the score back to 54-8 but Mitchell slid in on a pitch made slick by rain shortly after to cross the line once more. O'Connor's kick from out wide found the mark as the rain became heavier.

Mitchell looked set for another try but he pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury just short of the line.

Russia grabbed their second try when Simplikevich intercepted a loose pass from Cooper and raced to the line. Rachkov converted from in front of the posts.

Russia got a deserved third try as Rachkov got his first of the tournament when he darted through a gap after good work at the lineout. He made it two from two conversions as his side trailed 61-22.

Barnes got his second try as he charged down a kick and raced to the line. O'Connor made the final score 68-22 with another successful kick, his ninth from 10.

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