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September 8th, 2007
Rocky Elsom scored a hat-trick in Australiaís 91-3
annihilation of Japan.
The Australian flanker was a key figure in the victory,
flattening Japanese defenders with powerful runs and
scything down opponents with ferocious defence. Chris
Latham, Drew Mitchell and debutant Berrick Barnes scored two
each in their sideís 13-try blitz.
Japan were competitive in the first quarter, tackling
bravely and looking threatening with the little possession
they did have. Australia, in that period, looked every bit a
side who havenít played in seven weeks.
Their execution lacked accuracy and their fundamental skills
were poor. But they soon shook off the rust and reinforced
why this contest had been billed as a mismatch.
The Wallabies resisted the urge to play expansively from
first phase early in the game, preferring to assert their
dominance with the heavies. They tactic worked well, as they
bossed the collisions and scrums, which laid the platform
for Larkham and co to attack in the wide channels.
Nathan Sharpe began the rout, emerging with the ball after a
powerful rolling maul had decimated Japan. Rocky Elsom then
twice found himself a beneficiary of some well constructed
Japan flyhalf Kosei Ono sunk a penalty and the Wallabies
went into the break 20 points ahead (23-3), but despite this
would have known the lead should have been closer to 40
They were however more clinical in the second half,
switching from a relatively conservative approach to one
that emphasised getting width on their game. They showed
glimpses of their best form in the manner they built to
Elsomís third try and one from Adam Ashley-Cooper that was
birthed on the Australia 10m line.
Japan, for all their commitment and courage, lacked the
technical ability to blunt the Australianís attack. The
Wallabies crossed the whitewash seven more times with
Latham, Berrick Barnes (2), Drew Mitchell (2), George Smith
and Adam Freier all profiting from inept Japanese defence.
Australia - Tries: Nathan Sharpe, Rocky Elsom (3), Adam
Ashley-Cooper, Chris Latham (2), Berrick Barnes (2), Drew
Mitchell (2), George Smith, Adam Freier. Conversions:
Stirling Mortlock (7), Matt Giteau (3). Penalties: Mortlock
Japan - Penalty: Kosei Ono
Posted by Ryan | Keo.co.za