The Wallabies have racked up a predictably dominant victory over Uruguay, to ignite their World Cup campaign at Villa Park. on Sunday
The final scoreline of 65-3 eclipsed New Zealand’s 58-14 thrashing of Namibia as the biggest victory of the tournament so far.
Despite an at-times scrappy display, the No.2-ranked nation had absolutely no trouble putting Uruguay to the sword in an 11-tries-to-none belting.
By the 31st minute the Wallabies had secured the all-important bonus point, but coach Michael Cheika wasn’t thrilled with all of the action – at times throwing his hands in the air in frustration as errors and penalties mounted against his side.
The first half finished with an errant pass from Matt Toomua sailing over the sideline – and summed up the opening period succinctly.
The expansive backline play highlighted the Wallabies willingness to attack, which was reflected on the scoreboard which read 31-3 in their favour, but the final pass failed to find its mark.
More polish will certainly be needed next Saturday in the all-important clash with England at Twickenham.
Unsurprisingly, the Wallabies were utterly dominant at the breakdown and it led to an avalanche of tries against the semi-professional Uruguayan outfit, who have never beaten a tier-one nation.
After just five minutes, young tyro Sean McMahon opened the scoring when he finished off a rolling maul.
McMahon finished with two tries and was among the best on ground, but with Pocock and vice-captain Michael Hooper ahead of him in the back-row pecking order it seems the 21-year-old may have to wait his turn.
Kurtley Beale made the most of his start at fullback, brilliantly chiming into backline plays and causing regular headaches for the Uruguayan defence.
Meanwhile, the week of lock Dean Mumm continued to get better – in addition to becoming a first-time father and first-time skipper in the space of 24 hours, he added a try for good measure.
While Nick Phipps impressed with his energy and crisp passing, halves partner Quade Cooper endured a mixed afternoon in his audition to hold onto the No.10 jersey deeper into the tournament.
The mercurial playmaker, having regathered a Beale midfield grubber, produced a superb flick pass for Joe Tomane to cross for the Wallabies’ second try – just one of a handful of magnificent plays which ignited the Wallaby backline.
However, the 27-year-old reprised his villain role soon after when he was sin-binned for tackling Uruguayan No.9 Agustin Ormaechea high and then body-slamming him into the turf for a third yellow card in his past four matches.
Cooper’s goal-kicking, too, was off target – and his return of five from 11 attempts is unlikely to put pressure on Bernard Foley, who looked more assured against Fiji.
Drew Mitchell opened the scoring in the second half, equalling Chris Latham’s Wallaby record with his 11th World Cup try – and five minutes later the record was his alone, when he accepted a pinpoint cut-out pass from Cooper.
Backrower Ben McCalman also grabbed a brace of tries in the rout.
Giant lock Will Skelton left the field in the second half with a shoulder complaint.