Parish preaches no er­rors to Samoa

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP 2017 - MICHAEL CARAYANNIS AL­LIANZ STA­DIUM

FURIOUS Samoa coach Matt Parish has roasted his side’s illd­is­ci­pline af­ter they fell over the line to the quar­ter-fi­nals with a 14-14 draw with Scot­land in Cairns.

The Brave­hearts looked set to shock the is­land na­tion when they took a 14-6 to half­time be­fore their more fan­cied op­po­nents fi­nally started wak­ing from their slum­ber.

Parish said his side had no chance of com­pet­ing with the Kan­ga­roos unless they im­proved all over the park, but in the same breath said they could com­pete if they put it to­gether.

“Our prob­lem is our er­rors. We made too many er­rors,’’ Parish said. “We made too many last week, we made too many against New Zealand.

“When we don’t make er­rors we can com­pete against any­one in the world. And we will. It doesn’t mat­ter whether you’re play­ing Aus­tralia, Scot- land, Tonga or New Zealand, you’ve got to lift for it and again the Scots came out here today and showed what it means to play for their coun­try and they played well. They prob­a­bly out-en­thused us for most of the game but, to our credit, we hung in there in the tough times and were able to get a draw, which was enough to stay alive in the tour­na­ment.”

A LACK­LUS­TRE Kan­ga­roos over­came a gal­lant Le­banon to keep their un­blem­ished World Cup cam­paign in­tact with a 34-0 win last night.

Aus­tralia started slowly and never re­ally found their groove. They were cru­elled by fun­da­men­tal han­dling er­rors in the first half in a per­for­mance which earned them just two tries be­fore the half­time break.

A late flurry of points flat­tened the score­line for Aus­tralia, while Kan­ga­roos coach Mal Meninga was left frus­trated by the of­fi­ci­at­ing of Eng­land ref­eree James Child.

“One of the slow­est games I’ve seen for a while,” Meninga said. “Twenty-one penal­ties. A lot of stop­pages. We want to see a good game of rugby league. We want to be al­lowed to play a lot more.

“We had three penal­ties in the first game against Eng­land and not many last week. All of sud­den both teams were pe­nalised for a lot of things both teams were get­ting away with.”

While the Aus­tralian team is head­lined by a host of mil­lion-dol­lar play­ers — in­clud­ing Cooper Cronk, Ben Hunt and Cameron Smith, the bulk of their op­po­nents were part­time play­ers.

Aus­tralia fin­ished on top but Le­banon walked away from the crowd of 21,127 mostly Le­banese fans with their rep­u­ta­tions en­hanced in the first meet­ing be­tween the two coun­tries.

Aus­tralia lacked flu­ency with the ball but they still march into their quar­ter-fi­nals against Samoa in Dar­win hav­ing con­ceded just 10 points from their open­ing three games, with Meninga la­belling the de­fence “out­stand­ing”.

They fol­lowed a sim­i­lar path to their World Cup ti­tle in 2013 when they gave up 22 points in their three games.

But the Kan­ga­roos may be with­out prop Aaron Woods on Fri­day night af­ter he was placed on re­port for a dan­ger­ous tackle on Tim Man­nah.

Le­banon will need to ask more ques­tions in at­tack if they are to chal­lenge the gi­ant-top­ping Tonga, but they showed enough in their backto-back per­for­mances against Eng­land and Aus­tralia to warn they can’t be taken lightly.

Cameron Mun­ster scored twice to take his Test tries tally to four in just two games while James Maloney, Boyd Cord­ner, Dane Ga­gai and Tom Tr­bo­je­vic also crossed.

The tone could have been set early for Le­banon, who kicked the ball out on the full to start the game. But af­ter re­pelling the Kan­ga­roos early they con­ceded their first points when Mun­ster scored af­ter a wide shift eight min­utes in. Aus­tralia’s next try came when Pan­thers team­mates in wait­ing Re­gan Campbell-Gil­lard and Maloney took ad­van­tage of space cre­ated by Cronk for Maloney to cross to give Aus­tralia a 10-0 half-time lead.

The Kan­ga­roos com­pleted at just 67 per cent to half­time, mak­ing dou­ble the amount of er­rors com­pared to their coun­ter­parts’ eight. Aus­tralia’s er­ror count fin­ished at 15.

A piece of Mun­ster bril­liance helped ig­nite the Kan­ga­roos in the sec­ond half as skip­per Cameron Smith watched on from the side­line af­ter be­ing rested.

Kan­ga­roos prop David Klem­mer smashes into Le­banon for­ward Chris Saab. Pic­ture: AAP

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