Australia beat brave French side

Rugby League Four Nations 2009The Australian Kangaroos took a while to get going against a brave French outfit in the 4 Nations Rugby League tournament, but eventually ‘clicked’ to turn the points on and get home 42-4 with several key players rested for this fixture. Young Penrith outside back Michael Jennings bagged a hat-trick of tries as Australia got the upper hand in the second-half.A notable omission from the Aussie side during the 2008 World Cup, Jennings admitted he had wanted a spot somewhere in the Kangaroos outfit.”I’ve did my bit with my tries and I was really happy with the way I played but now it’s up to the coach,” confirmed Jennings.”I was pleased, obviously the team performance wasn’t as good as we would have wanted it to be but a debut hat-trick is pretty special.”As a team we weren’t great in the first-half but I don’t think anybody let themselves down in the second-half.”We weren’t flying by any measures but we were clinical and that is ultimately what you’re after.”The French we extremely strong in the first half of this match, tackling well and showing got intensity. But when rookie Jennings stormed over twice in a short space of time just before the end of the first half – the danger signs were there.Clint Greenshields was exceptional for his adopted country, the former Saints fullback holding the Aussies out stoutly on several occasions. But with fitness a concern in past matches for the French, a try was always going to ‘burst the dam’.Another Panther in the mix, Luke Lewis touched down for the Aussies and the ever improving Morris twins both bagged doubles to continue their meteoric rise to stardom in the Rugby League ranks.France saved some face through Olivier Elima who touched down for a late try, but it was always going to be a tough ask. The French side already struck down with a raging flu consigning several key players to beds during this Four Nations Rugby League tournament.Still reeling from the huge loss during the World Cup final, coach Tim Sheens has apparently asked the side to lift a gear as they approach the finals of this tournament.”We were ok, we got the win” said Sheens.”In the first-half we were too sloppy and we missed the pass.”I made it clear I wasn’t happy with the way we were playing.”To be fair to the players they improved but I still don’t think we really found our true level.”No disrespect to France but just because we did enough to beat them it doesn’t mean we did enough to satisfy me.”I think Michael Jennings played well and when it comes to picking my team that will be in my thoughts.”The last quote an interesting one from Sheens, with many feeling that Jennings has done more than enough to oust veteran Justin Hodges in the centres for the Australian side set to face England in the final of the Four Nations Tournament after the Poms took out the hot favourite Kiwi side.AUSTRALIA 42 (M Jennings 3 B Morris 2 J Morris 2 L Lewis tries J Thurston 3 K Gidley 2 goals) bt FRANCE 4 (O Elima try) at Charlety Stadium.

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