The Australian Kangaroos are heading to a fourteenth consecutive Rugby League World Cup after dominating Fiji in a 54-6 victory in Brisbane on Friday night.
The boys in green-and-gold were shaken early by their South Pacific opposition after a little rough-and-tumble play saw Australia concede a penalty and fall behind 0-2 in the opening minutes of the game.
But that didn't last long before the Kangaroos turned up the intensity and from there, the win was all theirs to run away with.
Australia piled on four tries in the first half alone, with Billy Slater, Dane Gagai and Valentine Holmes all crossing the line to score, leaving the Fijians trailing 22-2 at the break.
And that was always going to happen, of course.
You see, the last time Australia were not in the final of the Rugby League World Cup was back in 1954. Ever since 1957, the Kangaroos have been in every tournament decider -- winning 10 of their past 13 appearances.
For that reason, the Australians went into Friday's semi-final as major favourites to progress to the last game of the Cup, and boy did they show why.
Both teams had barely left the locker rooms and started the second half before Holmes burst through Fiji's defence once again, running more than half the field to add another try to the damage.
Valentine Holmes score eight tries in his last 2 games, mental how good the Aussies are— CN (@CallumNuttall) November 24, 2017
And the onslaught didn't stop there. Just ten minutes and a Billy Slater try later, Holmes crossed again to put the Aussies up 40-2. The game was all but over with half-an-hour left on the clock and Fiji started to look well-defeated.
But the spotlight was always going to be on Holmes.
The winger, who plays with the Cronulla Sharks in the NRL, has notched up eleven tries in two weeks. Yes, that's right, eleven. Holmes scored five times in Australia's quarter-final last week against Samoa and managed six more on Friday.
If nothing else, that's simply incredible.
Despite a single try from Fiji, Australia surged on to seal the win and its spot in the Final -- ending the game with a very, very impressive 54-6 scoreline.
So what makes Australia so great at World Cup rugby league? If the game against Fiji is anything to go by, you can put it down to simply having world class talent all over the field. In any position you look at, including the substitutes sitting on the bench, the Kangaroos have more than one very talented player backed up and ready to go to put them yards ahead of any opposition they have faced all tournament.
You just need to look at Australia's run of victories so far this World Cup -- 18-4 v England, 52-6 v France, 34-0 v Lebanon and 46-0 v Samoa -- to know who has the best chance at winning this year's tournament.
Here's a hint: the Kangaroos simply do not look like losing any time soon.
Australia will play the winner of Tonga and England in the Final of the Rugby League World Cup in Brisbane on Saturday December 2.Suggest a correction