Australia ease into final
Kangaroos triumph against France in Paris
By Rachel Griffiths. Last Updated: 07/11/09 5:31pm
Jennings: Man of the match
Australia secured a 42-4 victory in Paris, marking their 14th consecutive win over France and securing them a place in the Gillette Four Nations final.
Kangaroos centre Michael Jennings scored a hat-trick of tries on debut, while Australia's other first-timer Josh Morris also grabbed a brace.
Josh's twin brother Brett Morris scored his own double to take his total to four in just three appearances in a second half that saw Australia storm away after leading by only 8-0 at the break.
In an imitation of their clashes with England and New Zealand, France were more competitive in the first period but faded badly in the second.
Australia, whose line-up had seven changes from the one that beat England, were made to fight for their interval lead.
The French caused problems with creativity from stand-off Thomas Bosc and full-back Clint Greenshields, but were unable to follow through their promising moves.
Scoring was opened with a try from man-of-the-match Jennings, who switched his allegiance after playing for Tonga in the World Cup, after the 21-year-old took a pass from captain Darren Lockyer and eluded the French defence.
The Penrith three-quarter took his second on 26 minutes as the result of another Lockyer pass, but Johnathan Thurston missed both attempts to convert.
The Kangaroos erased any thoughts of a France comeback in the first 90 seconds of the restart when substitute second rower Luke Lewis scored his debut try for his country.
Winger Brett Morris then touched down twice in six minutes to maintain his record of scoring in every Test match before full-back Kurt Gidley stretched the lead to 24-0 by kicking two goals.
The video referee denied Morris a hat-trick, but Jennings secured his treble at 55 minutes when he snatched a loose ball 80 metres from the line and outstripped his pursuers.
France got on the board when captain Olivier Elima touched down from Bosc's high kick, but Josh Morris ended the rout with the last two tries and Thurston kicked three conversions.