Starting his first game for the Kanagroos, back-rower Wade Graham scored four tries as Australia defeated France 52-6 in Canberra.
The French side put up a good fight for long periods and trailed by only four points after 30 minutes, but Mal Meninga’s side turned on the style from here to register a comfortable World Cup win.
Graham completed a first half hat-trick, with an additional try from Josh Dugan sending hosts in 20-6 up after Mark Kheirallah had scored a stunning try for France.
It was one-way traffic after the restart though as Cameron Munster crossed for a brace, adding to scores from Tyson Frizell, Billy Slater, Valentine Holmes and Graham’s fourth of the night.
After a tight first 10 minutes, Australia went through via Tom Trbojevic but it was chalked off due to an obstruction in the early minutes of the game.
However, the Kangaroos opened the scoring with Graham running onto a flat ball to crash over. Cameron Smith missing the conversion to make it 4-0.
Graham followed up with a quick-fire second try to make it 10-0 following a successful Smith kick, however France hit back as Kheirallah outsprinting Slater in a 90-metre effort. Remy Marginet converting to narrow the deficit to 10-6 in the opening 20 minutes.
France then made a bad decision to kick for touch only 10 metres out on the last tackle and they were made to pay as Graham bagged a hat-trick in his first ever start for Australia, Smith accurate with the boot to extend the lead to 16-6.
Dugan ensured Meninga’s men went into half-time with a commanding lead, showing quick-feet to scoot in out wide, Smith unable to convert leaving the half-time scoreline at 20-6.
It was a similar theme in the second-half as Australia continued to press. Munster throwing a neat dummy to score on his Australia debut, his namesake Smith converting to make it 26-6.
France struggled to handle the physicality of their opponents, this time Frizell barged over, Smith converting once more to make it 32-6.
The tries were coming thick and fast as Michael Morgan broke away and passed to the supporting Slater. Smith adding the extras again to make it 38-6.
Graham was on the scoresheet again with a fourth try soon after; equalling a World Cup record. Smith converting as the Kangaroos built up an unassailable 44-6 lead by the hour mark.
Munster made it a brace in the final quarter as he latched onto a Dugan grubber to score, though he was unable to convert his own try.
Winger Holmes completed the scoring late on as he evaded Fouad Yaha to dive over in the closing minutes, Munster missing the kick again to leave the full-time score at 52-6.