Roos Ready To Wreck Tomahawks' Party

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Getty Images
Billy Slater's preparation was marred by a nightclub assault. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Getty Images

Australia has had a relaxed journey to the quarter-finals after an initial scare in Cardiff against England, and Tim Sheens’ team is unlikely to get anything more than a training run from its final eight match when it lines up against upstarts the United States on Saturday night (AEST).

The Tomahawks exceeded expectations by beating France in a trial match prior to the World Cup kicking off, but they backed that shock win up by beating Cook Islands 32-20 in Bristol and Wales 24-16 on enemy territory. They ran out of puff playing their third game in nine days when a Scotland side, well organised by halves Danny Brough and Peter Wallace, dismantled them 22-8 in Salford last start.

Terry Matterson has a smattering of NRL talent in his side with Eddy Pettybourne , Clint Newton and captain Joseph Paulo , but the rest of the squad is a motley crew of players with Yankee blood from around the planet.

The teams met in 2004 when Australia was on the way home from a Kangaroo tour, and the biggest upset in rugby league history was on the cards in the exhibition match when the USA led 24-6 at half-time . Normal service resumed after the break as Australia went on to win 36-24 but the Americans showed plenty of commitment. They’ll need to show that, and more, if they’re to cover the line, even with a 50-plus point start. Prior to the quarter-finals, only seven of the 21 favourites had covered the line, so going with the plus in this tournament has been the way to go to date.

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