Addo-Carr scores five as Australia cruise into League semis

Star winger Josh Addo-Carr ran in five tries as reigning champions Australia despatched Lebanon 48-4 on Friday to cruise into the semi-finals of the Rugby League World Cup.

The Kangaroos dominated a Lebanon side featuring several Australian players of Lebanese heritage who ply their trade in the NRL.

Australia will next play the winners of Saturday's quarter-final between New Zealand and Fiji.

That semi-final will take place on November 11 at Elland Road in Leeds, with the winners of England v Papua New Guinea taking on the victors of the clash between Tonga and Samoa at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium 24 hours later.

"I'm grateful for the five tries. I'm grateful to be on the wing. All I've got to do is catch the ball and put it down," Addo-Carr told BBC.

"I love playing with these boys and this coaching staff. I think we've got something special, we've got a bond like no other and you can see on the field that we're having lots of fun.

"I love having fun. I get to do what I love doing and that's playing football. Never in a million years did I think I'd be in the UK playing the sport I love. I don't want it to end."

The loss meant that Michael Cheika no longer has to split his loyalties between coaching Lebanon and the Argentina rugby union team.

The Pumas kick off their Autumn Nations Series in a high-profile game against England at Twickenham on Sunday before taking on Wales and Scotland, at least, now, with Cheika's full attention.

"Today we got blown away by higher quality at the ruck," said Cheika, who led the Australian rugby union side to the 2015 Rugby World Cup final. "They blew us apart at the ruck in the first half and after that they could do whatever they wanted.

"It was not the performance we wanted but at the same time we showed a lot of spirit and grit to stay in there and play a real physical contest right until the death. We exceeded expectations.

"Coming into this game we got a little bit intimidated in the first half, but we got our wits in the second. But obviously Australia have a high amount of quality so I don't think anybody is surprised by the result"

Addo-Carr notched up a quickfire hat-trick within 19 minutes in Huddersfield as Lebanon struggled to cope with the sheer early power of the Australians.

Powerful centre Latrell Mitchell then proved too much to handle as he barrelled his way over the line before Nathan Cleary unlocked the door for Cameron Murray to notch Australia's fifth and sixth tries in quick succession to leave it 30-0 at half-time.

Addo-Carr nabbed his fourth five minutes into the second period before there was finally some sunshine for the Lebanese as a Mitchell Moses grubber through saw former Kangaroo Josh Mansour tap down after Cameron Munster failed to clear the ball.

The winger, incredibly overlooked for selection for New South Wales in the State of Origin series, touched down for his fifth on the hour mark, Munster cleverly kicking through with no defenders at home.

Liam Martin bundled over for Australia's final try as the Kangaroos slightly misfired late on against a dominated Lebanese side in a mistake-ridden final quarter.

"We let ourselves with ill-discipline," said Addo-Carr. "I think if we fix that, our best footy is ahead of us. We know we've got a hard game ahead of us next week. We're just loving every moment and this is special to be a part of."

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