Kangaroos roll on towards a spot in the quarter-finals after thumping Ireland.
Daly Cherry-Evans insists no-one in the Australia team will be underestimating their quarter-final opponents USA after he starred in his side’s nine-try rout of Ireland.
The Kangaroos continued their perfect start to the Rugby League World Cup with a 50-0 mauling at Thomond Park on Saturday that ensured they topped Group A ahead of England.
And Cherry-Evans, given his chance with Johnathan Thurston rested for the clash in Limerick, was the star of the show in a man-of-the-match performance.
Cooper Cronk and Jarryd Hayne both crossed twice for Tim Sheens’ side who ran in nine tries in all as Cherry-Evans, Greg Bird, Bret Morris, Billy Slater and Andrew Fifita also scored.
USA have been the surprise package of the tournament so far and they now face the daunting prospect of taking on Australia in Wrexham next weekend but Cherry-Evans is expecting a tough encounter.
“We have been lucky enough to win all three of our group matches which is a good building block for the rest of the tournament and hopefully we can keep improving,” said the Manly Warringah half-back.
“USA have been the surprise package, the Aussie boys in their side definitely do lend a helping hand. We will definitely need to be on our toes or else anything can happen.
“For me personally it is always a pleasure to play for your country so hopefully I get another opportunity soon.”
Kangaroos assistant coach David Furner praised his side’s defensive effort as they kept Ireland scoreless throughout the 80 minutes.
“I think attitude was the main thing and I thought that showed on the scoreline as they scored no tries,” he said.
“We made a point of it coming into this game and we also knew Ireland were talking about an 80 minute performance with attitude as well.
“And after that performance it’s a good selection headache for us to have now.”
Ireland head coach Mark Aston was left to rue a World Cup campaign that saw his side emerge winless from their three clashes in Group A.
But rather than bemoan their performances, Aston was full of praise for the men in green that kept fighting until the final whistle in wet conditions in Limerick.
“We are immensely proud of the guys, I thought they stuck in there so well,” he said.
“When you are playing against the world’s best, you have to stick in there and they were certainly having a dig which is what we asked of them,
“Thomond Park is a fantastic venue and we can be proud of ourselves, they can walk off this pitch with their heads held high.
“You look at Australia and they are immense aren’t they? They are certainly one of the best teams in the competition.”