Parish preaches no errors to Samoa
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