Australia made it three wins from three in Group A with a 34-0 win over Lebanon at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
Australia were 10-0 up at the break thanks to first half tries from Cameron Munster and James Maloney.
The Kangaroos scored four more unanswered tries in the second half through Munster, Boyd Cordner, Dane Gagai and Trbojevic as they won 34-0 in Sydney.
Mal Meninga made six changes to his side that beat France last week as BBilly Slater, Will Chambers, Josh Dugan, Michael Morgan, Tyson Frizell and Josh McGuire were replaced by Dane Gagai, James Maloney, Boyd Cordner, Matt Gillett, Ben Hunt and Cooper Cronk.
Brad Fittler made five changes to his side that were defeated by England last week. Anthony Layoun, Danny Barakat, James Elias, Chris Saab and Andrew Kazzi came in for Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Travis Robinson, Bilal Maarbani, Nick Kassis and Elias Sukkar.
Lebanon started the game well and pressed the Australia line a couple of times but it was Australia who drew first blood as James Maloney slipped Cameron Munster through a gap who scored. Cameron Smith failed to convert but they were 4-0 ahead after eight minutes.
The Kangaroos were playing good rugby in the opening stages but so were Lebanon. The hosts eventually got on the scoresheet again in the 24th minute when James Maloney scored on the back of a drop ball from the Cedars. Smith didn’t miss the conversion this time and they were 10-0 ahead.
Cedars star Chris Saab was involved injured in a tackle involving Australia props Aaron Woods and David Klemmer and left the field and did not return after taking a knock to the head.
Australia had another couple of half chances to score in the latter stages of the half but strong defence from Lebanon kept them out. The Kangaroos went into the sheds with a 10-0 advantage.
HALF TIME: Australia 10–0 Lebanon.
Meninga’s Australia side started the second half on top and scored nine minutes after the restart as youngster Munster showed great footwork to score his second. Maloney added the extras to make the score 16-0 to the home nation.
The Kangaroos were starting to gain momentum as the second half went on and scored another when Boyd Cordner cottoned onto a Maloney grubber to dive over. The conversion was good and Australia were 22-0 in front.
The Green and Gold sealed the win five minutes from time when Dane Gagai got on the end of a cheeky chip over the top from Cooper Cronk. Maloney again converted, Australia 28-0 Lebanon.
Tom Trbojevic rubbed salt into the wound of the Cedars at the death. Valentine Holmes made a sublime 40-metre break before assisting the supporting Trbojevic who darted under the posts. Maloney’s conversion secured a solid 34-0 victory as Australia progress to the quarter-finals having won three out of three in Group A.
FULL TIME: Australia 34–0 Lebanon.
Australia – 34
Tries: Munster 2, Maloney, Cordner, Gagai, Trbojevic
Goals: Smith 1/2, Maloney 4/4
Lebanon – 0
Loverugbyleague.com MOM: James Maloney (Australia)
Australia: 1. Valentine Holmes, 2. Dane Gagai, 3. Tom Trbojevic, 4. Cameron Munster, 5. Josh Mansour, 6. James Maloney, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Aaron Woods, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. David Klemmer, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Felise Kaufusi.
Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Jordan McLean, 16. Reagan Campbell-Gilard, 17. Wade Graham.
Lebanon: 1. Anthony Layoun, 19. Danny Barakat, 3. James Elias, 4. Adam Doueihi, 5. Abbas Miski, 6. Mitchell Moses, 7. Robbie Farah (C), 8. Tim Mannah, 9. Michael Lichaa, 15. Ray Moujalli, 11. Chirs Saab, 12. Ahmad Ellaz, 16. Jamie Clark.
Interchange: 10. Alex Twal, 14. Mitchell Mamary, 17. Andrew Kazzi, 18. Jason Wehbe.
Referee – James Child