Harragon blow mars victory

Australia 86 South Africa 6

Australia will send for the North Sydney back row Gary Larson today after Paul Harragon's World Cup ended at Gateshead last night. The Australians record-breaking win over a hopelessly outclassed South Africa was marred by the sight of Harragon being helped off clutching his face in 16th minute.

Despite having a sustained a hairline fracture of the cheekbone in Saturday's loss to England, he had elected to risk taking on the Rhinos last night, his first game as national captain.

The Australians took just 62 seconds to score their first try, Paul McGregor taking advantage of the failure of the Rhinos full-back, Pierre Van Wyk. South Africa held on gamely for another seven minutes, before John Hopoate scored from a Danny Moore pass to put the world champions 12-0 ahead.

Nik Kosef, on his debut, Andrew Johns, McGregor, Moore, Hopoate, Aaron Raper and Robbie O'Davies all crossed before half-time as the Kangaroos amassed a 52-0 advantage.

With the world record scoreline within their sights, Australia turned the screws after half-time, with Hopoate reaching his hat-trick in the 44th minute. Dymock scored four minutes later, and O'Davies crossed again in the 51st minute.

Andrew Johns equalled Michael O'Connor's world individual points-scoring record of 30 and the margin of victory was a best for a full international, bettering the Kangaroos' 74-0 demolition of France last year.

AUSTRALIA: O'Davies (Newcastle); Dallas (Sydney Bulldogs), D Moore (Manly), McGregor (Illawarra), Hopoate (Manly); M Johns, A Johns; Muir (all Newcastle), Raper (Cronulla), Harragon (Newcastle, capt), B Moore (North Sydney), Smith (Sydney Bulldogs), Kosef (Manly). Substitutes: Brasher (Sydney Tigers), J Dymock (Sydney Bulldogs), Bartrim (St George), Carroll (Manley).

SOUTH AFRICA: Van Wyk (Eastern Reds); Koombe (Durban), Ballot (Bay of Plenty), Boshoff (Dewsbury), Johnson (Workington); Alkema (Barea), Van Deventer (Dewsbury); Watts (Dewsbury), Cloete (Barea), Booysen (Dewsbury, capt), Williams (Durban), Human (South Queensland), Fourie (Dewsbury). Substitutes: Ludick (Eastern Reds), Powell (City Scorpions), Serfontein (South Africa RU), Van Niekerk (Eastern Reds).

Referee: R Smith (England).

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