Australia v Scotland: Rugby League World Cup
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Josh Addo-Carr of Australia scores their hat trick try and their sides tenth try during the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool B match between Australia and Scotland at The Coventry Building Society Arena on October 21, 2022 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images for RLWC)

The Kangaroos have built upon their opening win against Fiji, tearing through the Scottish Bravehearts in appalling conditions and keeping their opponents scoreless in a statement win.

Four tries to Josh Addo-Carr saw him awarded man of the match, but the team was also aided by a hat-trick on debut to Campbell Graham and were masterfully guided around the park by Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary.

Scotland got off to the worst possible start, with a kick-off heading out on the full before an error saw the Scots take it out, handing Australia attacking position from the first play. Thankfully, Nathan Cleary's early effort was disallowed.

But it didn't take long for the Roos to rectify the error, with a Cleary cut-out ball sending Josh Addo-Carr over for his fourth try in two games.

Within five minutes they were in again through Jack Wighton, on a damaging cut-back run inside following a short ball from Cleary.

The Penrith halfback turned provider again soon after, with a chip kick from 20 metres out that was spilled by the defence. Cameron Munster looked certain to score but he was held off the ball – though it didn't matter in the end with Angus Crichton winning the race to the loose ball.

Campbell Graham was next to score, crossing against the team he was originally set to play for, with another run cutting back inside some soft defence and a spin move finishing off the play. Cleary joined the try scorers soon after.

By half-time Wighton and Addo-Carr had crossed for another try each, and the Roos were scoring at a point per minute.

Australia v Scotland: Rugby League World Cup
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Josh Addo-Carr of Australia scores their hat trick try and their sides tenth try during the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool B match between Australia and Scotland at The Coventry Building Society Arena on October 21, 2022 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images for RLWC)

It was more of the same after the break, with James Tedesco and Ben Hunt going over within the first five minutes as Scotland looked out on their feet. When Addo-Carr completed his hat-trick soon after the Kangaroos looked a genuine chance of scoring a century and perhaps beating their record winning margin, set against Russia.

But the Scots dug deep and offered some resistance in the middle stages of the half, slowing the torrent of tries, if only for a moment. For all their defensive resolve they were toothless in attack, losing possession through handling errors, forward passes, kicks out on the full and one-on-one strips.

The resistance was soon a distant memory as the Kangaroos finished with five tries in the blink of an eye, including perhaps the try of the tournament to Addo-Carr after Matt Burton's over-the-sideline, between-the-legs assist to keep the ball alive.

Isaah Yeo and Matt Burton both joined Graham and Cleary as debut try-scorers as the weather deteriorated.

The Scots will be disappointed with another underwhelming display, but the Kangaroos deserve credit for both excellent execution and incredible improvisation. Mal Meninga faces the best kind of headache heading into the knockout stages, with players performing in all positions.

But Meninga gets one more chance to explore his options, with the final group stage game against Italy yet to come.

AUSTRALIA 84 (Josh Addo-Carr 4, Campbell Graham 3, Jack Wighton 2, Angus Crichton, Nathan Cleary, James Tedesco, Ben Hunt, Matt Burton, Isaah Yeo tries; Cleary 12 goals) D. SCOTLAND 0.

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