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Rugby World Cup 2011
Australia cruise past USA in World Cup
Wallabies overcome disappointing loss to Ireland by bouncing back to convincing victory over the USA in Rugby World Cup.
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2011 11:33
Ashley-Cooper dives over the line to score his team's seventh try against the USA [GALLO/GETTY] 

Australia winger Adam Ashley-Cooper scored three tries in seven minutes in the second half as the Wallabies shook off the disappointment of their loss to Ireland last week with a 67-5 victory over the United States on Friday.

The Wallabies had been heavily criticised for their 15-6 loss to Ireland, but showed against the U.S. how dangerous they can be when allowed to control the pace of the game, running in 11 tries - several from more than 50 metres out - at Wellington Regional Stadium.

While coach Robbie Deans may have been pleased with the result and some of the support play and width they achieved, he will remind the Wallabies they will not get as much quick ball or space against better sides.

They could also have injury concerns with Kurtley Beale, Pat McCabe and Anthony Faingaa coming off, with team officials suggesting McCabe may have a dislocated shoulder while Faingaa was knocked cold in a tackle in the final minute.

"We spoke about being a bit smarter with our decision-making and the scoreline was flattering but I guess the best thing about the performance was the way we went about it," Wallabies captain Will Genia said in a pitchside interview.

"We got a cleaner ball to work with this week and when you've got guys like Kurtley and Quade, it makes the forwards job much easier when you get on the front foot."

On the double

The Tri-Nations champions had a nervous opening five minutes but then scored two electric tries to inside centre Rob Horne and flanker Rocky Elsom after they recycled the ball at lightning pace.

The U.S. then had the better of the next 20 minutes after captain Tim Usasz had broken out from inside his own half that gave them some much needed momentum.

Despite holding out for several minutes, the Wallabies finally broke when U.S. number eight JJ Gagiano exploited a poorly defended blindside from an attacking scrum to bring the crowd to the feet as he scored the first try against Australia at the tournament so far.

The Wallabies, despite being forced back on their line again, highlighted how dangerous they were with ball in hand as they swept 90 metres down field for fullback Beale to finish off, which Cooper converted.

 
        A Maori warrior challenges Aussie Quade Cooper to a duel as he walks onto pitch [GETTY] 

Faingaa secured the bonus point less than five minutes later to give the Wallabies a 22-5 lead at halftime.

The Wallabies continued their resurgence after the break with winger Drew Mitchell and replacement centre McCabe both crossing in the first 10 minutes of the second half to ensure there was no chance of an American fightback.

Ashley-Cooper then went on his scoring burst before Faingaa scored his second after another long-range attack and Radike Samo took the final pass from Ashley-Cooper to score their final try. Berrick Barnes converted four of their second-half tries.

"I thought we had a good first half... we ran out of steam at the end but I'm immensley proud of the guys," said Usasz.

"That's the difference when you play the best sides in the world, they really punish you for your mistakes."

Source:
Reuters
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