It was one-way traffic for the entire game as the Kangaroos cruised to victory with a resounding 62-0 win over the Tomahawks, but it was an injury to fullback Billy Slater that was the main talking point.
Despite aggravating an old knee injury, coach Tim Sheens is hopeful that his tournament is not over but concedes that Slater is likely to miss semi-final clash.
“It’s an injury to his old injury – PCL,” said Sheens.
“It’s just what damage may have been done, cartilage and other things.
“We’re just hoping it’s a bad knock but we’re sending him for an MRI tonight.
“We’ve still not given up the thought that he might possibly be available, probably not this week after that sort of knock, the week after if we get that far.”
There are plenty of options for fullback with Slater out, with both Jarryd Hayne and Greg Inglis producing stellar performances – who scored 4 tries and 2 tries respectively, as well as piling on the stats – so the Kangaroos are in good hands at fullback.
“We’ve got a few full-backs actually who can play the game. It’s a still a big loss for us,” added Sheens.
“I’m not going to panic just yet until we get (the results of the MRI). The issue is the knock and how much damage it’s done.”
Sheens was pleased that his side managed to keep another clean sheet, their second of the tournament after a 50-0 drubbing of Ireland in the group stages.
“I think we showed plenty of determination in defence. I think we have the best defensive record in the competition at the moment,” he said.
“We had our pants pulled down early by England (in their opening game) and we’ve determined that won’t happen again, so we’ve really worked hard on that aspect of our game.
“It comes behind a kick-chase game. I was happy with the way we continued to put the pressure on the USA.”
Despite being beaten comprehensively, there was one that thing that USA Tomahawks coach Terry Matterson still had – pride.
Pride in his team and proud of their efforts to make it as far as they did, against the odds.
“I suppose a bit of relief that that game’s over, they’re a wonderful side that we played against,” said Matterson.
“I’m no less proud of these boys for what they’ve done. We’re focusing on what we’ve done in the campaign and reaching the quarter-finals.
“What we’ve done over the last four weeks has been very special and I’ll always hold those players to my heart.
“I’ll always remember and we’ll always have a very strong bond.”