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Greg Inglis during the Four Nations test match between Australia and New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium,  Brisbane Australia on October 25, 2014.

This story appeared first on - By James MacSmith AAP

Australian skipper Cameron Smith hailed the continued emergence of Greg Inglis as one of rugby league's modern-day greats after the superstar fullback starred in Australia's 44-18 win over Samoa.

Inglis led the way with a first half double as Australia raced away to a 28-6 halftime lead at Wollongong on Sunday from which they were never threatened.

The South Sydney star also broke the Samoa line for Cooper Cronk's opening try in just the second minute, in another memorable representative performance.

Inglis's 26th and 27th Test tries take him past Bob Fulton on the all-time scoring list for Australia to fourth.

"He is a fantastic player everyone knows that, it is hard to keep coming up with new words to describe him and the type of player that he is," Smith said.

"He has grown into that role at the back over the three matches, obviously the first one didn't go the way he wanted it to, with going off at halftime but he was good last week and he was even better today."

Inglis didn't come out for the second half in Australia's 30-12 loss to New Zealand due to illness.

He was also instrumental in last week's 16-12 win over England in Melbourne, scoring the match-winning try.

"He still has areas of his game he has to work on as a fullback, obviously his strength is his running and his ability to get a ball and just turn nothing into something," Smith said.

"But he still needs to work on his talk in defence and relaying things to the team and getting people in the right spot

"He is working on that, it is not a natural thing for Greg but again he is a quality player and when you need someone to stand up in the big matches he is always there."

Darren Lockyer is Australia's all-time leading tryscorer with 35 Test four-pointers.


35 - Darren Lockyer

33 - Ken Irvine

28 - Reg Gasnier

27 - Greg Inglis

25 - Bob Fulton

23 - Brett Morris

22 - Billy Slater

* Kangaroos overcome spirited Samoa

The Kangaroos have done enough to overcome a determined Samoa 44-18 and book a rematch against New Zealand in the Four Nations final in Wellington next Saturday.

In front of a vocal crowd of 18,456 at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, featuring a very heavy Samoan contingent, the green-and-golds produced a three-try blitz late in the second half of the opening stanza to blow the game open.

Despite a determined effort from the outsiders the Aussies always looked in control from the time halfback Cooper Cronk opened the scoring in just the second minute.

The match featured first ever Test tries for David Klemmer, Josh Mansour and debutant Josh Jackson, while unlucky rookie Sione Mata'utia selflessly passed for Cronk's try then was later denied himself due to a forward pass in the lead-up.

In Australia's first set, after some great work from Inglis to put Mata'utia in space just inside the Aussies' half, the 18-year-old showed maturity beyond his years to streak downfield and patiently hold up the pass as he ran Samoa fullback Tim Simona away from his supporting runner, then threw a perfectly-timed pass to Cronk.

Inglis was next to cross in the 11th minute after a series of passes on the last at the Samoa line, including a couple of offloads from Corey Parker – one early in the play and the last to put Inglis over.

Samoa had the better of the next 15 minutes but repeatedly let the Aussies off the hook when they got into attacking position, often piggy-backing the Kangaroos out of their own end.

Joseph Leilua, who was so dominant against New Zealand, was the chief culprit, conceding four first-half ruck penalties leading to a caution from the officials.

The Samoans did peg the margin back to four points on 20 minutes through fullback Tim Simona, who put a big fend on Aussie skipper Cameron Smith then ran around Aaron Woods to cross next to the posts.

But the floodgates opened in the 26th minute when Cronk put Inglis through a gap that opened up when Ben Roberts fell for Sam Thaiday's decoy run, with the fullback's second try enough to earn him man-of-the-match honours.

Four minutes later Daly Cherry-Evans streaked 60 metres from a scrum for a great solo try when he stood up Kyle Stanley and outpaced Simona to the corner.

It became three tries in eight minutes when David Klemmer bagged his first four-pointer in green and gold.

The rangy prop – who repeatedly dented the Samoa line with massive kick-off returns – smashed onto a short ball to burst over under the posts, sending the Aussies to the break up 28-6. With 85 metres from just seven first-half carries, Klemmer added plenty of grunt to the Kangaroos' running game.

Needing to win by at least nine to progress the Samoans were never realistically going to come back from a 22-point half-time deficit but refused to go away and were first to score after the break through Roberts who produced a big left foot step at the Aussie line.

It was to be as close as they got though, with Cronk getting his second in the 62nd minute to effectively end the contest.

Samoa skipper David Fa'alogo kept things interesting, charging over shortly after, before a late pair of tries to Josh Papalii and Josh Mansour blew the score out to 44-18.

Australia 44 (Inglis 2, Cronk 2, Cherry-Evans, Papalii, Mansour tries; Smith 4, Cherry-Evans 2 goals) def Samoa 18 (Simona, Roberts, Fa'alogo tries; Lafai 3 goals). Crowd 18,456.


The curtain-raiser match saw the Kiwi Ferns pip the Jillaroos in a thriller - claiming a 12-8 win. 

Kiwi Ferns 12 (H Peters, Tupaea, Fotu-Moala tries) def Jillaroos 8 (Sam Hammond, Jenni-Sue Hoepper tries)  Half-time: 8-0 Jillaroos

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