FORMER Kurri Kurri fulback Mark Kheirallah enjoyed a career highlight by scoring a try for France against the Kangaroos in the World Cup clash at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.
Australia predictably beat France 52-6 but Kheirallah’s runaway try, after fielding a Cameron Smith grubber kick deep in his own territory in the 25th minute, stole the show.
A Sydney junior who bounced around between South Sydney and Newtown before playing a lone NRL game for the Roosters in 2011, Kheirallah starred for Kurri in 2014, when they reached the Newcastle RL grand final but finished runners-up to Western Suburbs.
The 27-year-old has since been a regular for Toulouse Olympique, who last season played in the Championship, the level below Super League.
Kheirallah brought the crowd to their feet, but Australia led 20-6 at half-time after a hat-trick of tries from Cronulla back-rower Wade Graham and one from centre Josh Dugan.
Australia had to wait until the 12th minute to open the scoring, when Graham crashed over for his first Test try, after Australia strung together three consecutive sets of possession.
Two minutes later, Graham received an inside pass from Billy Slater and again powered his way over the line.
He scored again before half-time and then made it four midway through the second half to equal the Test record held by seven other Australian players.
Australia started with Cameron Munster at five-eighth after James Maloney walked out of the Kangaroos' camp just hours before their clash with Tricolores kicked off.
Maloney was granted leave from the squad for undisclosed personal reasons, which reportedly had nothing to do with speculation that he had signed to play for Penrith, in an exchange deal that meant Matt Moylan would join Cronulla.
The Kangaroos were scrambling to replace him, especially as Ben Hunt was also unavailable because he is getting married this weekend.
Dane Gagai was called into the 19-man match day squad for Australia, leaving Valentine Holmes, Matt Gillett and Boyd Cordner on an extended bench.
Munster, however, grabbed his unexpected opportunity, scoring a double on his Test debut.
The floodgates burst open early in the second half with Tyson Frizell scoring and then Billy Slater picking up his 24th Test try.
Valentine Holmes brought up the half-century in the 78th minute.
Fairfax Media revealed last month the Panthers were keen to secure a swap deal with the Sharks with Maloney and Moylan to trade places.
The Panthers have lodged a three-year deal for Maloney to move to Penrith, which could be announced as early as Monday.
The contract will need to be cleared by the NRL, but it appears the speculation over Moylan's future is all but over.
Moylan is set to link with the Sharks on a four-year deal.