Australia star fails to finish lop-sided win against USA at Rugby League World Cup.
Australia coach Tim Sheens has said that Billy Slater’s involvement in the Rugby League World Cup is not over despite seeing his fullback limp off in their quarter-final win over USA.
The Melbourne Storm star appeared to injure his knee right at the start of the second half before disappearing down the tunnel at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham and not returning.
It did not appear to affect the Kangaroos too much as they ran out impressive 62-0 victors with Brett Morris and Jarryd Hayne scoring four tries apiece.
Morris made history as the first man to score four tries in the first half of a World Cup game but the potential loss of Slater could provoke a re-shuffle in the backline for the semi-final.
But Sheens calmed any concerns about Slater and praised his side’s defensive intensity as they kept the surprise package Tomahawks scoreless throughout.
“Our attitude coming into the game was to work hard on our defence and I was very happy with the way we defended our line and generally defended in the game,” he said.
“We’ll have some X-Rays but we’re hopeful that Billy will be Ok, if not this week then next week.
“We’ve now got to travel to London and we’re looking forward to the big double header down there. I hope to see lots of people down there. After we recover from the travel and find out who we are going to be playing then we will start to prepare.”
Morris meanwhile insisted he and his Kangaroo teammates would be prepared for a bruising semi-final at Wembley where they will face the winner of Sunday’s Fiji v Samoa quarter-final.
“The next game certainly will be a physical encounter and we’ve got to get ready for that,” he said.
“We’ll have a tough week in training to get ready for that and we will bash each other around. We are moving in the way we want to move.”
For USA the defeat marked the end of their remarkable progress to the knockout stages in the tournament and head coach Terry Matterson was full of praise for his side’s efforts.
“The scoreline is disappointing but the guys gave it their best shot. We were up against a world class side here,” he said.
“I’m proud of what my guys have done in the tournament. We weren’t meant to be here today.
“Congratulations to the Australians they’ve been wonderful and very professional.
“Certainly winning some games would have caught the eye of the public. These guys have worked hard for each other and played hard together. We’re really proud of what they’ve done.
“Obviously the scoreline is disappointing but it’s a real shot in the arm for USA rugby league.
“Everything has happened so quickly that I haven’t even thought about (continuing working with this team) to be honest.
“I think the guys will enjoy the moment now and enjoy the time left. We’ll disregard what happened today and reflect on what’s happened in the group these three or four games.”