HUDDERSFIELD, England - Ryan Hall ran in a first-half hat-trick as England got their Rugby League World Cup campaign up and running with a 42-0 thumping of Ireland in their Group A clash yesterday.
Rhinos winger Hall barged over for three scores in the left corner to bring up his treble inside the first half hour as England blitzed Ireland from the off.
Steve McNamara's side, who lost the tournament opener to Australia last Saturday, were 30-0 up at the break in Huddersfield as Tom Briscoe went over twice while Brett Ferres also touched down.
And scores in the second half from Kallum Watkins and Rangi Chase ensured that England, who were without the suspended Sam Burgess, coasted to their first win of the tournament.
After a preparation beset by off-field incidents and a defeat against the Kangaroos last time out, England were desperate to make a fast start.
And Hall provided it as early as the second minute, diving over in the left corner after being fed by Leroy Cudjoe.
Ireland nearly summoned an immediate response, creating an overlap on the right but the last pass was behind Damien Blanch and the chance was lost.
And McNamara's side did not have to wait long to punish Ireland as their offloading game began to click into gear, Cudjoe and Hall again combining to put the winger in for his second.
Kevin Sinfield added the extras and with 13 minutes played England were 10-0 to the good.
Briscoe then collected Chase's kick to the corner above Pat Richards and when he dotted down the floodgates had well and truly opened.
Briscoe was certainly making the most of his opportunity after Josh Charnley was picked ahead of him on the right wing for the Australia defeat and he added his second soon after, cutting in off his right wing to score under the posts.
And with barely a quarter of the game played it was already turning into a rout as Hall completed his hat-trick by muscling his way over by the left touchline.
Sinfield's misfiring boot was probably the only disappointment for England, the skipper missing three of his first five conversion attempts.
But the barrage continued and when Ferres went over moments later England had scored four tries without Ireland having a single touch of the ball, barring kick-offs.
After the interval the heavens opened, preventing the fast flowing game that had punctuated the opening period but England still had too much for the Irish.
Watkins collected a Briscoe offload to score in the right corner for England's seventh and Chase downed Sam Tomkins' clever kick through for the game's final score.
Ireland battled hard and deserved much credit for their continued efforts in a losing cause but despite some late pressure could not get on the scoreboard as England now look towards next weekend and a meeting with Fiji.