Australia v Italy: Rugby League World Cup
ST HELENS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Latrell Mitchell of Australia goes over to score their sides fifth try during Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool B match between Australia and Italy at Totally Wicked Stadium on October 29, 2022 in St Helens, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Mal Meninga's Kangaroos faced few challenges during another dominant display as they now prepare for the knock-out stages after beating a valiant Italy who refused to compromise on their entertaining style of play.

It didn't take long for the Kangaroos to open their account, with Latrell Mitchell going within inches after six minutes. On the following tackle, Daly Cherry-Evans chipped over the defensive line and straight into the grateful arms of Valentine Holmes.

Stunningly, Cleary's attempt at a straightforward conversion bounced back off the post – but the Roos were in again within five minutes, with Cherry-Evans and Mitchell both involved again for a try to Murray Taulagi.

Italy showed a regular willingness to chance their arm, with short kick-offs and drop-outs – although it didn't always work out off the boot of Jack Campagnolo. Within moments of a failed short drop-out the Roos were in again through former Italy representative James Tedesco.

A short drop-out led to the next try as well, with Campbell Graham leaping between two Italian defenders to claim the high ball and cross with ease.

Australia v Italy: Rugby League World Cup
ST HELENS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Latrell Mitchell of Australia goes over to score their sides fifth try during Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool B match between Australia and Italy at Totally Wicked Stadium on October 29, 2022 in St Helens, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The Italians were also willing to chance their arm on the fifth tackle, but they probably shouldn't have, with Latrell Mitchell crossing for a try of his own after a failed fifth-tackle venture. Within two minutes, Mitchell was turning provider with a stunning offload assist for Taulagi's second just before the break.

It was more of the same after the game resumed, with Panthers teammates Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo both crossing in quick succession.

It wasn't all one-way traffic, with Italy and the neutral fans having cause for celebration in the second half. A short-kick off paid off for the Azurri, who surged upfield before Rinaldo Palumbo beat all chasers to a grubber kick behind the line, kicking off euphoric celebrations.

But it was soon back to regular broadcasting with Cameron Murray hitting back promptly. A brief lull followed before Campbell Graham grabbed his second.

Fatigue started to take hold of Italy after an exhausting contest, and both Jeremiah Nanai and Lindsay Collins were able to score in the final 10 minutes, pushing the margin out to 60. Though the Italians were clearly outclassed they didn't shy away from the challenge.

Australia are now likely to face Lebanon in the knock-out stages. But with no injuries and everyone firing, the only problem Mal Meninga faces is who to choose after another strong showing.

AUSTRALIA 66 (Murray Taulagi 2, Campbell Graham 2, James Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell, Isaah Yeo, Valentine Holmes, Liam Martin, Cameron Murray, Jeremiah Nanai, Lindsay Collins tries; Nathan Cleary 9 goals) D. ITALY 6 (Rinaldo Palumbo try; Jack Campagnolo goal).

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