Steve Smith ticked an item off his bucket list after inspiring Australia to retain the Ashes.

Smith has been the star of the series, and after missing the Headingley Test due to concussion, he returned to lead the way for Australia at Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old scored 211 in the first innings, before taking the match away from England with a superb knock of 82 in his second spell at the crease.

Craig Overton and Jack Leach held Australia at bay on day five after England's top order again failed to impress, but Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Hazelwood clinched the wickets needed to claim a win which gives the visitors a 2-1 lead in the series and sees them retain the urn for the first time since 2002-03.

"It feels amazing to know the urn's coming home," Smith - who has 671 runs from his five innings in the series so far - told Sky Sports.

"I've been here a few times where things haven't quite gone our way, [and] we didn't perform to the best of our ability in 2013 and 2015.

"It was always one I wanted to tick off my bucket list, to get the urn over here. There's another game left and we'd love to win [the series] but to know the urn's coming home is extremely satisfying.

"I'm incredibly proud of the way I've performed throughout this series and help the team achieve what they've achieved today."

While the odds were stacked against England throughout the final session, Smith acknowledged the spectre of their defeat at Headingley was not far from Australia's minds.

"The boys were getting a little bit tight out there," Smith added. "But at the start of the day we thought we'd get our eight chances and it proved to be the way.

"[England] fought incredibly hard, I thought Overton was exceptionally good at the end there, showed great courage. Fortunately, the boys got the job done."

Labuschagne has proved to be another star for Australia, having initially replaced Smith as a concussion substitute, impressing with the bat before taking Leach's wicket at the end, and the 25-year-old believes this series will live long in the memory.

"It's hard to put into words what it means to bring the urn back for Australia," Labuschagne told Sky Sports. 

"You think of some of the great series, like 2005 when England obviously won, this has been up there with one of the best there has been, especially in England. 

"We know England just keep coming, as they showed in the last Test. It was really nice to be on the right end of it today."

Josh Hazlewood struck the final blow as Australia beat battling England by 185 runs on a tense final day of the fourth Test at a raucous Old Trafford to retain the urn.

England resumed on Sunday in deep trouble on 18-2 and needing a highly improbable 383 to win, but more realistically to bat out for a draw which would give them the chance of a series victory with one match remaining at The Oval next week. 

The outstanding Pat Cummins (4-43) removed Jason Roy and Headingley hero Ben Stokes before lunch, but England had hope of saving the match when they were six wickets down at tea, with Joe Denly (53) one of only two men to depart in the afternoon session.

England continued to show resistance as Jos Buttler made 34 off 111 balls on his 29th birthday, while Craig Overton and Jack Leach also dug in with the backing of a packed crowd in Manchester.

Overton and Leach fended off 14 overs in a gritty ninth-wicket stand before part-time spinner Marnus Labuschagne got rid of his fellow tweaker - who soaked up 51 balls after being promoted above Stuart Broad - to silence a lively crowd.

After the clocked ticked into the final hour with 13.3 overs remaining, Hazlewood ended Overton's defiant knock of 21 off 105 deliveries to dismiss England for 197, sparking wild Australia celebrations as they avoided more final-day agony and took a 2-1 lead. 

 

Australia retained the Ashes after moving 2-1 up in the series with one game to play following a 185-run win over England in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

The tourists regained the urn in 2017 and will head to The Oval knowing it will remain in their hands irrespective of what happens in London.

England started day five on 18-2, requiring a further 365 runs to win but, more realistically, knowing they had to bat out three sessions to keep their hopes alive.

They lost two wickets in each of the first two sessions and the tail could not keep out an Australia attack led by Pat Cummins, who took 4-43, as Australia sealed victory with under an hour remaining.

Joe Denly top-scored with 53 for an England side likely to undergo major surgery before the tour to New Zealand later this year.

Australia retained the Ashes after moving 2-1 up in the series with one game to play following a 185-run win over England in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

The tourists regained the urn in 2017 and will head to The Oval knowing it will remain in their hands irrespective of what happens in London.

England started day five on 18-2, requiring a further 365 runs to win but, more realistically, knowing they had to bat out three sessions to keep their hopes alive.

They lost two wickets in each of the first two sessions and the tail could not keep out an Australia attack led by Pat Cummins, who took 4-43, as Australia sealed victory with under an hour remaining.

Joe Denly top-scored with 53 for an England side likely to undergo major surgery before the tour to New Zealand later this year.

Jos Buttler and Craig Overton continued to frustrate Australia's bid to polish off the final four wickets required to beat England in the fourth Test at Old Trafford and retain the Ashes.

Nathan Lyon ended the resistance of Joe Denly (53) and Mitchell Starc dismissed Jonny Bairstow on a tense Sunday afternoon in Manchester to leave England 166-6 at tea.

Buttler, on his 29th birthday, dug in for a gritty 30 from 96 balls and a battling Overton will resume after the break on 12, with England needing to bat out another 36 overs for a draw to keep the series alive with a new ball soon available.

The outstanding Pat Cummins (4-41) saw the back of Jason Roy (31) and Headingley hero Ben Stokes (one) before lunch after a frustrating start for the tourists on a good pitch.

Buttler and Overton - who successfully overturned a leg before decision - put on 28 and, more importantly, stayed together for 15.5 overs to give England some hope of pulling off another great escape a fortnight after an astonishing win in Leeds.

Roy got forward with conviction in the first hour and Denly - who switched places with his partner for this Test to open - also dug in after England resumed on 18-2.

A positive Roy hit Starc for four with a glorious cover drive, but was gone when Cummins removed his off stump with a brilliant delivery, which nipped back through the gate at the end of the 18th over of the day.

Stokes came out to a huge roar, but was soon heading back to the pavilion looking dejected after inside-edging a pumped-up Cummins behind, walking off without the finger being raised by umpire Marais Erasmus in a huge moment late in the morning session.

Denly had a second half-century in as many Tests when he punched Cummins down the ground to the boundary just after lunch, but fended Lyon to Marnus Labuschagne at short leg to become the spinner's first victim of the match.

Bairstow (25) and Buttler looked comfortable as they played with a mixture of attack and defence, but Starc ended a sixth-wicket stand of 45 by snaring the former leg before with the first ball after a drinks break.

Overton was given a reprieve after being given out lbw for five, with the third umpire taking a long time to overturn the decision despite the fact Cummins' delivery appeared to strike the paceman's bat before hitting his pad outside the line of off stump.

Pat Cummins claimed the prized scalp of Ben Stokes in the morning session to leave Australia needing another six wickets to retain the Ashes at Old Trafford.

England started the final day in deep trouble on 18-2 - requiring a highly unlikely 365 more runs to win - after Cummins dismissed Rory Burns and Joe Root without scoring late on Saturday.

Jason Roy (31) and Joe Denly (48 not out) knuckled down in a third-wicket stand of 66 before the former was bowled - for the fourth time in the series - by the outstanding Cummins.

Stokes, England's saviour at Headingley a fortnight ago, was unable to come to the rescue again as he walked after nicking Cummins behind for only one.

Denly and Jonny Bairstow made it through to lunch with England 87-4, with a minimum of 71 overs to bat out for an unlikely draw and avoid going 2-1 down with one match to play.

Roy got forward with conviction in the first hour and dispatched Cummins past midwicket for four, with Denly also digging in.

Mitchell Starc troubled Denly with a short ball after replacing Cummins, the batsman flashing the left-arm quick over the slips for a streaky boundary as Australia strived for a breakthrough.

Nathan Lyon was again cheered each time he caught the ball after his costly botched run out in Leeds and the noise was cranked up when Cummins hurled the ball past him for overthrows.

Roy hit Starc for four with a glorious cover drive just before the drinks break, but was gone when Cummins removed his off stump with a brilliant delivery, which nipped back through the gate.

Stokes came out to a huge roar, but was soon heading back to the pavilion looking dejected after inside-edging a pumped-up Cummins behind, walking off without the finger being raised by umpire Marais Erasmus in a huge moment with lunch looming.

Pat Cummins has set Australia the blueprint for how to bowl England out and retain the Ashes, according to Steve Smith.

The ex-captain's 82 helped the tourists set England 383 to win at Old Trafford on Saturday, with the weather forecast clear for the final day of the Test.

Victory would ensure Australia cannot lose the series, though they will be wary of England's stunning comeback in the last match at Headingley, where Ben Stokes and Jack Leach completed an improbable one-wicket win to level the series.

England's task is even taller this time, however, with Cummins having brilliantly removed both Rory Burns and Joe Root in a superb opening over - the captain castled first ball - leaving Australia needing eight wickets on Sunday to secure the urn.

"I found when I first went out to the middle, when you bowl a good length there's enough up and down and sideways movement," Smith told reporters. "My first 20 or 30 balls I felt vulnerable when they were bowling a good length.

"Patty [Cummins] hit it beautifully tonight and I think that ball to Root is probably a blueprint for what we need to do tomorrow, first thing in the morning. The quicks, keep hitting that top of the stumps length and let the pitch do its thing, mixed with a good bouncer.

"There's no doubt in my mind the seaming ball is the hardest to play in the game. You have no time to react, you have to play the line and if it goes in it has a chance of hitting the stumps or getting an lbw, or if it goes away there's a chance of nicking it.

"A couple of our guys have exploited that well on this wicket and if they do it again, hitting the top of off stump with the same length as the Root ball, we could see a lot of lbws and caught behind the wickets.

"That's the length we've been trying to hit to Root, particularly early on in his innings and it's worked a few times. He's got out first ball a few times or early a few times with very similar balls.

"That's the length we're trying to hit and Patty did it first ball. I've no idea if it moved or what but I think it's the length that's the most important thing - and that's a good length."

David Warner's miserable series continued as Stuart Broad removed him for a duck for the second time in the Test but Smith defended the under-fire opener, who has been unable to repeat his stunning Cricket World Cup form.

"It's been tough with the new ball for both sides," Smith said. "The ball has done the most when it's new and when it gets a little softer it doesn't do as much so it gets a little easier.

"They've bowled pretty well with the new ball and I think they have bowlers who are particularly good at bowling to left-handers - Broad and [Jofra] Archer.

"It's not been easy for Davey and Marcus [Harris] but they're trying their hardest to counteract it. Their opening bowlers have been too good for the boys early on at the moment but hopefully things can turn around in the next Test match.

"He [Warner] has admitted Broad has had the wood on him this series and he's been talking to me, Justin [Langer, coach] and Hicky [Graeme, batting coach] about ways he can play. He's tried a couple of ways and they haven't worked.

"But Davey is a quality player. He hasn't had a lot of luck this series and hopefully he can turn it around and get a big one for us at The Oval."

Of his own performance, extending his faultless run of reaching at least a half-century in the series, Smith added: "When it is tough you want your experienced players to step up. I've played quite a lot of cricket now. I like to get in those situations and be the one to take the team through."

Trevor Bayliss says England are confident they can keep their Ashes hopes alive at Old Trafford by avoiding defeat on the final day against Australia as "anything is possible."

Australia had England on the ropes on 18-2 at stumps on day four in Manchester after Pat Cummins dismissed Rory Burns without scoring and Joe Root from the next ball in a brilliant first over.

First-innings double-centurion Steve Smith starred again with 82 after Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer reduced the tourists to 44-4 with two wickets apiece, Australia declaring on 186-6 late in the day.

England - all out for 301 in their first innings after lunch - need a highly unlikely 365 more runs to take a 2-1 lead or bat all day on Sunday for a draw that would set up a decider at The Oval.

Head coach Bayliss says they can inflict pain on Tim Paine's side once again, a fortnight after they pulled off a record run chase at Headingley courtesy of Ben Stokes' heroics.

"It's a big challenge but we've got two guys out there who are very good players and we've certainly got some guys in the sheds who can make hundreds," said England head coach Bayliss.

"It'll take I think a couple of our guys to make big hundreds but as we saw in the last Test, anything is possible.

"I'm always positive, I think we can do it. We've already had a chat and we're certainly not going out there thinking it's all over, if we do there's no use playing at this level.

"They believe they can go out and bat for 98 overs, put in a good performance and save the game."

Bayliss added that Stokes' incredible knock has given his team-mates belief that they can get themselves out of trouble again.

"It gives the guys a lift that if one guy can do it then somebody else can," the Australian said.

"We've already spoken about who is going to go out there and be the hero, we know it will take some hard work, but they'll be going out there with the aim to do that."

Australia closed in on a victory in the fourth Ashes Test that would ensure they retain the urn as Steve Smith again punished England, who were quickly reduced to 18-2 having been set 383 on day four.

Mitchell Starc, Smith and Pat Cummins each enjoyed their time in the spotlight on Saturday, with Australia reclaiming command of proceedings each time their hosts appeared to have been granted a glimmer of hope at Old Trafford.

Starc took 3-80 and excelled with the new ball as England, who resumed on 200-5, were dismissed for 301 in their first innings to concede a lead of 196.

The talismanic Smith - a double-centurion in Australia's first dig - then shone once more with the bat to stretch his side's advantage.

England reduced their opponents to 44-4 before Smith hit 82 off 92 balls - another wonderful innings yet incredibly his lowest score of the series to date - and Tim Paine declared on 186-6 in a bid to make swift progress against the fragile home top order.

Paine got what he wanted almost immediately as Cummins started with a double-wicket-maiden, dismissing Rory Burns and Joe Root. England duly stumbled through to stumps, three long sessions away from a draw that would keep the series alive - or, more unlikely still, requiring 365 to follow up their Headingley triumph with another stunning comeback victory.

In the morning session, England never truly recovered from the break up of the Burns-Root partnership on day three, with Starc getting movement out of the new ball to bowl Jonny Bairstow (17) before swiftly adding the big wicket of Ben Stokes (26).

Jos Buttler (41) was almost solely responsible for at least lifting England past the follow-on target of 298 before he fell to Cummins.

Australia then wobbled when batting again, with Stuart Broad continuing his domination of David Warner, trapping the opener for a third consecutive duck.

Broad kept the pressure on and got Marcus Harris (6) too, before Jofra Archer accounted for Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head in a pacy spell.

However, Smith initially dug in and then came out firing after tea, surviving brief scares as he came close to dragging on and then almost fell to a stunning attempted catch from Stokes.

While other batsmen struggled for fluency, Smith was able to score freely with some increasingly expansive strokeplay. His attempts to lift the run-rate eventually gifted a wicket to Leach as Stokes was picked out at long-off.

Matthew Wade departed to a rejuvenated Archer, before Paine smashed a quick unbeaten 23 off 18 and then declared mid-over, teeing up Cummins to dish out some early damage.

Burns fell victim to the third ball when a leading edge looped to a sprawling Head at cover, while Root's defences were breached immediately by a gorgeous delivery that took off stump.

Jason Roy saw off the hat-trick ball and survived the remaining 6.2 overs alongside Joe Denly, but England's hopes of regaining the urn appear slim with a day to play.

 

STARC CONTRAST TO DAY THREE

Starc, recalled for this Test, is not always the most consistent of bowlers and struggled a little on Friday, ending the third day on figures of 0-41.

He proved his worth on day four with two huge early wickets in a new-ball spell. After bowling Bairstow through the gate with an inswinger, he tempted an edge from Stokes, who had scored 161 runs since his previous dismissal in the first innings at Headingley.

ARCHER BACK AT IT BUT SMITH SUPREME

Archer endured the first really tough innings of his international career earlier in this match, his figures of 0-97 including a gruelling spell bowling to Smith. The wicket of Labuschagne here came as a huge relief.

But that battle with Smith still provided Archer with little reward. Until his dismissal at the hands of Leach, the Australia star, a little like Stokes in Leeds, appeared to be in one-day mode as he blasted the ball around Old Trafford.

MOMENT OF THE DAY

England were already in big trouble after losing Burns in the first over of their second innings. Their hopes of salvaging a draw receded sharply when the next ball from Cummins beat Root all ends up to leave the hosts 0-2.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Broad has got Warner six times in this series.
- Warner has had three ducks in a row. Prior to this run, he had never failed to score in successive Test innings.
- Broad has nine wickets from openers this series. Cummins has the next most on six.
- Smith has five successive Test half-centuries - his best such run.
- The Australia star has scored 293 runs in this Test match; his highest tally in a match.
- Having completed their highest successful run chase (359) at Headingley, England need to achieve the feat again to win this contest.
- Burns' duck was his first in Test cricket.

It was a familiar story at Old Trafford on day four as Australia's incredible talisman Steve Smith tormented England by once again piling on the runs.

Smith crafted a magnificent 211 in Manchester on Thursday and took the wind out of England's sails with 82 on day four after the tourists had been reduced to 44-4 in a pulsating afternoon session.

Australia's lead was up to 345 when the former captain, who missed the third Test at Headingley due to concussion, was dismissed by Jack Leach 18 short of reaching three figures for the fourth time in the series.

Smith 293 runs in the match are the most he has ever amassed in a Test and, with one game to come, he is only 17 short of bettering the 687 he registered in the last Ashes series, despite not playing in Leeds.

With the help of Opta, we look at some of the incredible numbers the top-ranked batsman in Test cricket has racked up in the Ashes.

- Smith's has scored 239, 76, 102 not out, 83, 144, 142, 92, 211 and 82 in his last nine Ashes knocks.

- By passing 50 in each of his last five Test innings, he has registered his best run of half-centuries in the longest format.

- He has passed 600 runs in a Test series for only the third time - previously managing it in 2014-15 against India and in the 2017-18 Ashes.

- Smith has 671 runs in the series and looks set to better his personal record of 687 from the last Ashes. Only three players have ever passed 800 runs in an Ashes series: Don Bradman (974 in 1930 and 810 in 1936-37), Wally Hammond (905 in 1928-29) and Mark Taylor (839 in 1989).

Defending FIBA World Cup champions the United States advanced to the quarter-finals by defeating Greece, while Canada made history against Jordan.

NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was unable to lead Greece to a shock victory over Team USA in Shenzhen, leaving them requiring a big win over the Czech Republic in their final second-round match if they are to have a chance of reaching the last eight.

Australia overcame the Dominican Republic 82-76 and France beat Lithuania 78-75 in a dramatic finale, meaning the two victors secured their progression and will battle it out for top spot in Group L on Monday.

The Czech Republic kept their hopes of reaching the last eight alive by defeating Brazil 93-71 – Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky producing a sensational all-round display with 20 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

In the classification round, there were victories for Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Turkey.

 

GIANNIS FAILS TO GET GREECE FIRING

Antetokounmpo was expected to be key to Greece's hopes of pulling off an upset against the United States and he had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

However, he was -17 in his 27 minutes on the floor – the worst +/- rating of anyone on his team – and it was while he was on the bench that Greece closed the gap to 11 points with four minutes remaining.

Kemba Walker led USA with 15 points, while Donovan Mitchell contributed 10.

 

BOOMERS STILL BOOMING

Patty Mills posted 19 points and nine assists as Australia held off the Dominican Republic for their fourth straight win.

Jock Londale impressed with 13 points on five-of-six shooting, while Chris Goulding added 15 and Aron Baynes put up 10.

Baynes fouled out with six minutes remaining in the third quarter, but replacement Andrew Bogut stepped up and provided eight points, eight rebounds and six assists.

 

FRANCE THROUGH

Nando De Colo sunk a fadeaway jump shot with 15 seconds of the match remaining to put France three points clear of Lithuania, who saw Jonas Maciulis fail to make a buzzer-beating shot from beyond the arc.

De Colo had 21 points off the bench, while Evan Fournier scored 24 in a commanding display.

Rudy Gobert said: "It was like a final for us. We knew we had to win this game in order to qualify for the quarter-finals. We know that Australia is a tough team too, but we are taking it one game at a time. We are going to get some rest and get ready for Australia."

 

HISTORY FOR CANADA

Nick Nurse's side sank 24 three-pointers in their 126-71 triumph over Jordan, the most in a single FIBA World Cup game.

Canada shot at 58.7 per cent from the floor and combined for 37 assists, equalling the record set by Serbia in their victory over the Philippines in the first round.

Two wickets apiece from Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer gave England a glimmer of hope but Steve Smith was unbeaten at tea with Australia building a substantial lead on day four of the fourth Ashes Test.

Australia bowled England out for 301 after lunch to take a first-innings lead of 196, Mitchell Starc (3-80) and Pat Cummins (3-60) doing the damage on Saturday.

The magnificent Broad and Archer gave England a chance with brilliant new-ball spells, reducing the tourists to 44-4.

Broad removed David Warner for a third consecutive duck - the sixth time he has dismissed the opener in the series - with the sun out at a raucous Old Trafford. 

First-innings double-centurion Smith was still there at the end of a captivating afternoon session, though, with Australia 63-4, leading by 259 runs and firmly on course for a win that would enable them to keep the urn.

In the morning, Starc cleaned up Jonny Bairstow with the second new ball before claiming the big scalp of Ben Stokes, who edged to Smith at second slip.

Archer and Broad departed either side of lunch and England would have been all out if Australia had any reviews left when Starc trapped Jack Leach in front, only for Marais Erasmus to keep his finger down.

Jos Buttler saved the follow-on by driving Starc for his seventh boundary but Cummins bowled him for 41 - his highest score of the series - to end the innings. 

A fired-up Broad then came steaming in to get the crowd rocking, dismissing Warner yet again lbw and getting Harris in the same fashion - the latter wasting a review.

Archer cranked up the pace to get in on the act, first removing the in-form Marnus Labuschagne - courtesy of another lbw verdict - and then castling Travis Head's middle stump.

Smith was troubled by Broad, but he hung in there once again and was unbeaten along with Matthew Wade at the end of the afternoon session, with Stokes not bowling after hurting his shoulder on day two.

It was only a matter of time before Australia paceman Mitchell Starc left his mark on the Ashes series.

Starc played no part in the tourists' win at Edgbaston, a draw at Lord's or England's astonishing triumph at Headingley.

The left-arm quick was unleashed for the pivotal fourth Test at Old Trafford, but was expensive with his radar off on day three as Australia looked to strengthen their grip on the match.

Starc's time came when he was tossed the second new ball under grey skies in Manchester on the penultimate day.

England were in desperate need of something special when they resumed on 200-5 in reply to 497-8 declared, knowing a defeat would put them 2-1 down and unable to regain the urn.

Much rested on the shoulders on Ben Stokes, match-winner at Headingley with an astonishing unbeaten century, and Jonny Bairstow when they marched out at the start of the day.

Starc ensured neither man remained at the crease for long, roaring in from the Brian Statham End like a man on a mission with a point to prove.

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were outstanding on the third day as Starc sprayed it around.

It was a different story when the 29-year-old steamed in from the same end with a new missile in hand, generating late swing to clean Bairstow up with a sharp delivery.

He then claimed the huge scalp of Stokes, who nicked one that nipped away off the seam into the safe hands of Steve Smith.

Starc sent Stuart Broad's off stump cartwheeling from the other end after lunch before Cummins bowled Jos Buttler to dismiss England for 301.

The lethal Starc finished with figures of 3-80 as he demonstrated Australia's embarrassment of riches in the bowling department.

A first-innings lead of 196 has Tim Paine's side scenting victory and Starc is surely not finished yet as they strive to keep the urn.

Mitchell Starc's brilliant new-ball burst in the morning session strengthened Australia's grip on the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

England resumed under grey skies in trouble on 200-5 in reply to the tourists' 497-8 declared, after Josh Hazlewood did late damage on the third day.

Joe Root's side were 278-8 at lunch on Saturday, with Jonny Bairstow (17) and Headingley hero Ben Stokes (26) dismissed by the excellent Starc (2-66) before Pat Cummins saw the back of Jofra Archer.

Jos Buttler was unbeaten on 26, but England trailed by a mammoth 219 and needed another 20 runs to avoid the follow-on as Australia scented a victory that would give them a 2-1 lead - and ensure they retain the urn.

Starc struggled on day three of his first match of the series, but showed his class with the second new ball by generating late swing to bowl Bairstow, who was punished for attempting an extravagant drive. 

Stokes rode his luck, almost chopping on before the dangerous Starc spilled him off his own bowling when he was on 19.

The all-rounder did not last much longer, though, and was furious with himself after edging Starc into the safe hands of Steve Smith, who took his third catch of the innings at second slip.

Archer was fortunate not to be run out casually going through for a single and it was no surprise when he was caught behind off Cummins with an ugly waft, reducing England to 256-8.

Buttler struck five boundaries as he took a positive approach and Stuart Broad was still there at the break after receiving treatment on his elbow, but Australia remained in complete control. 

Australia got through their final Rugby World Cup warm-up game with no major injury scares, as they survived a Samoa rally to emerge 34-15 victors on Saturday in Sekope Kepu's final Wallabies match on home soil.

Kepu, getting his 106th Test cap, departed to a rapturous ovation in Parramatta in the 50th minute for his last international in Australia, and Samoa soon began to claw their way back into the contest despite losing halfback Scott Malolua to a potentially serious shoulder injury just before the break.

But Dane Haylett-Petty and Matt To'omua got late tries to halt any potential comeback by the visitors, wrapping up a win that ultimately flattered Australia.

The Wallabies looked to be running away with the contest in the first half, getting their first try after just seven minutes when Samoa lost possession with an overthrown line-out in their own 22, the ball eventually worked to Adam Coleman, who went over.

Marika Koroibete followed suit eight minutes later, receiving possession just inside the Samoa half, flattening Alapati Leiua before touching down by the left corner.

Adam Ashley-Cooper got in on the act just before the half-hour mark, jumping on to a bobbling ball after Haylett-Petty's incisive kick.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto's converted score just prior to the interval gave the Wallabies a commanding 22-3 lead, but Samoa were fired up early in the second half, getting their first try of the contest when Dwayne Polataivao crossed after Afaesetiti Amosa broke away from a scrum.

Polataivao got a second soon after following a fine move. Leiua broke the line thanks to Ed Fidow blocking off Jack Dempsey and squared to Ahsee Tuala, who made the decisive final pass.

But the Wallabies upped their intensity again in the final 10 minutes to deny a Samoa comeback, Haylett-Petty spotting a gap and squeezing through, with Bernard Foley adding the extras.

To'omua wrapped things up in the final minute, with Australia heading to Japan in winning fashion.

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