TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA — NOVEMBER 05: Jarryd Hayne of Fiji passes the ball during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between Fiji and Wales at 1300 SMILES Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA — NOVEMBER 05: Jarryd Hayne of Fiji passes the ball during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between Fiji and Wales at 1300 SMILES Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

RLWC: Hayne Plane soars as Fiji thrash Wales

DESPITE some pre-match turbulence, the Hayne Plane has taken flight to help Fiji thrash Wales 72-6 in Townsville on Sunday and all but book a Rugby League World Cup quarter-final berth.

Jarryd Hayne overcame renewed speculation about his NRL future to score a record 14th World Cup try as the Bati cruised to a historic win over a hapless Wales in front of 7,732 fans.

Hayne leapfrogged Immortal Bob Fulton as the tournament's greatest try scorer in Fiji's biggest Cup victory, eclipsing their 58-12 margin against the USA last week.

The Bati's 14 tries to one rout also marked Wales' biggest ever Cup loss, eclipsing last week's 50-6 defeat in PNG.

It was close to Wales' biggest ever Test loss - 74-0 against England in 2008. Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu notched a hat-trick.

Linked to a move back to Parramatta in the lead-up to the match, Gold Coast flyer Hayne would have been forgiven for being preoccupied in Fiji's second group match.

Hayne dominated the news in the lead-up after it emerged his agent was seeking a Titans release so his charge could return to Sydney in 2018 to be closer to his daughter.

But Hayne made headlines for all the right reasons on Sunday, featuring heavily in the Bati blitz.

He had three try assists before finally crossing himself in the 42nd minute after a Vunivalu bust, delighting the crowd with arms outstretched in his best "Hayne Plane" impersonation.

The unbeaten Fiji are grouped with winless USA and Italy who notched their first victory - 46-0 over the Americans in Townsville on Sunday.

Fijian players celebrate the try of Joe Lovodua.
Fijian players celebrate the try of Joe Lovodua.

 

Only one team from their group advances to the quarter-finals. World No. 7 Fiji have made the semi-finals at the last two Cups. World No. 9 Wales showed early fight, levelling the scores at 6-6 in the 11th minute when lock Morgan Knowles ran off a sublime Craig Kopcak offload to cross. Then it was all one way traffic.

Fiji led 42-6 at halftime.

Win-less Wales are out of finals calculations, having conceded 122 points in their two pool losses to date.

It marked Wales' first international in Australia since 1975.

 

FIJI 72 (S Vunivalu 3 V Kikau 2 T Milne 2 S Faingaa J Hayne J Lovodua M Montoya B Nakubuwai H Raiwalui E Vunakece tries A Koroisau 4 T Milne 3 S Vunivalu goals) bt WALES 6 (M Knowles try C Davies goal) at 1300 SMILES Stadium. Referee: Chris Kendall. Crowd: 7,732.


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