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Two sides who were both defeated in the first pool round met in Doncaster as Samoa were massive favourites to score a decisive victory over a Greek side who fared well against the French last weekend.


Both coaches shuffled their packs, Samoa looking to put the nightmare of their heavy first round defeat at the hands of England last weekend, while Greece knew that an inaugural World Cup win was a distant hope. Flu had gone through the Greek ranks while Samoa lost a number of players to injury after last weekend.


Samoa were expected to win, it would be a disaster for them if they didn´t put in a convincing performance to go with the two points.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Oct 2022 6:42 PM | Views : 6739 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Ireland and Lebanon had a Sunday afternoon encounter in a shootout for who would join New Zealand in the final eight. Ireland already had one win and would secure second spot with a victory before they face New Zealand next weekend, Lebanon are without a win so far but a win today and an almost certain win against Jamaica next weekend would put them into the Quarter Finals.


Lebanon made just one change to the starting side which started against New Zealand, Adam Douehi replaced by Khaled Rajeb after he was dismissed in last weekend’s game. Ireland had O´Hagan for Cook in the front row and both sides made a couple of changes on the bench.


The bookies had Ireland as slight favourites, but on paper it promised to be a close game.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Oct 2022 4:23 PM | Views : 6189 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Jamaica were on a hiding to nothing as they made their way to Hull to take on a New Zealand side who were probably banking on an easy training run in a first meeting between the two nations. The bookies had given them a seventy-four point start on the coupon with most pundits thinking that they would be very lucky to avoid suffering their largest ever defeat which was a 56-4 loss to the England Knights last October.


New Zealand were without Dylan Brown who had been ruled out with illness amongst five changes made for what was billed as a straightforward win. There were three changes for Jamaica but plenty of familiar Super League names in their line up, but they were up against players who play every week in the NRL.


A win would almost guarantee New Zealand the quarterfinals, a loss for Jamaica would ensure that they couldn´t progress.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 22nd Oct 2022 9:19 PM | Views : 6453 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Before this World Cup began, England coach Shaun Wane pledged that all 24 players in his squad would get a chance to play.


With just his second game, against France, he took a huge step to fulfilling that pledge that pledge, naming five players who didn’t feature last week against Samoa, in his game-day 17 for the tie at the University of Bolton Stadium.


And that included John Bateman who had to serve a three-match ban, including last week and a pre-tournament England Knights fixture, before being eligible.


...Read on...
Posted by tb on Sat 22nd Oct 2022 6:55 PM | Views : 6356 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

After the opening round of results and Australia´s emphatic win over Scotland last night, Italy came into the game knowing that a win over Fiji would guarantee them a place in the knockout stages, regardless of how many Australia put past them next week.


But with Italy getting an eighteen point start on the handicap coupon, the smart money was on Fiji getting a decent win and then only needing to beat the battered Scots next weekend to ensure that it was they who progress in the competition.


This was the second ever meeting between the two sides, Fiji winning the only previous encounter by 38-10 during the group stages of the 2017 World Cup. Conditions were set for a competitive match on the 4G pitch at Kingston Park in Newcastle.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 22nd Oct 2022 4:16 PM | Views : 5215 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The second round of World Cup Group matches got underway with the holders Australia taking on a Scotland side who had a comprehensive and surprising loss to Italy in their opening encounter. The record books were on standby as the Kangaroos were expected to run in a cricket score, having been handicapped by sixty points on the coupon.


It´s only the second time that the two sides have met, Australia taking the spoils with a 54-12 win in the 2016 Four Nations Competition. No-one gave the Bravehearts a chance of springing a surprise in the full knowledge that a defeat would almost certainly end their competition.


Mal Meninga made wholesale changes to his winning side to rotate his squad while Scotland also had a number of changes, the most prominent being the omission of Ryan Brierley after he suffered an elbow strain, his replacement being Alex Walker.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 21st Oct 2022 9:16 PM | Views : 7707 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

Head coach Shaun Wane has named his 19-man squad for Saturday’s Rugby League World Cup Group A clash with France at the University of Bolton Stadium.


As expected, Wane includes all seven players from his 24-strong tournament squad who didn’t feature in last Saturday’s convincing 60-6 defeat of Samoa in Newcastle. In come Wigan Warriors pair John Bateman and Kai Pearce-Paul, Super League Grand Finalists Joe Batchelor (St Helens) and Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos), Salford Red Devils’ Andy Ackers and Marc Sneyd, and England’s all-time leading try-scorer Ryan Hall of Hull KR.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 20th Oct 2022 12:10 PM | Views : 7060 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After last nights tremendous game between Tonga and Papua New Guinea, the remaining two sides in Group D met at the Leigh Sports Village as Wales took on the Cook Islands as the final fixture of a fabulous opening round.


The Cook Islands were favourites with the bookies and were handicapped by eighteen points on the coupon, despite them being ranked four places below Wales in the IRL rankings. The sides have met on two previous occasions, both having recorded one victory, the last being a win for the Cook Islands in the group stages of the 2013 World Cup after Wales won the previous encounter in the 2000 World Cup by 38-6.


It was a crucial game for both sides and both coaches knew that whoever lost today would effectively be out of the competition, with both sides still having to play both Tonga and Papua New Guinea.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 19th Oct 2022 9:23 PM | Views : 5285 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

On paper it was the most eagerly anticipated game of the tournament so far as Tonga faced Papua New Guinea in a Group D game, the group of death, in what had been billed as the roughest and toughest encounter of the World Cup so far.


Tonga were big favourites with the bookies having been given a twenty-four point start on the handicap coupon and the side currently ranked second in the world knew that they needed a good start to their campaign against the side ranked fifth.


Both sides were hopeful of progressing from a group which also contains the Cook Islands and Wales and knew that a win tonight would put them well on their way to the knock-out stages. Kristian Woolf could draw on a host of NRL and Super League stars for Tonga, while Stanley Tepend had Leeds Rhinos star Rhyse Martin as his skipper for Papua New Guinea alongside many other familiar names.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 18th Oct 2022 9:23 PM | Views : 6681 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

The first ever meeting between France and Greece took place at the Eco-Power Stadium in Doncaster as the side ranked eleventh in the World faced the side ranked thirteen for what on paper looked like it would be a walkover for the French side.


Laurent Frayssinous seventeen was packed full of household names as most of the team were derived from the Catalans Dragons and Toulouse Olympique sides, along with a handful of other players plying their trade at English Super League clubs.


The bookies had given Greece a twenty-four point start on the handicap coupon in this Group A game as they took part in their first ever World Cup game after qualifying for the first time. England fans had a big interest in checking out the two remaining sides that they have left to play in their group.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 17th Oct 2022 9:16 PM | Views : 6292 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

On paper it looked like the most one-sided game of the opening weekend of the World Cup as second favourites for the competition New Zealand took on a Lebanon side who had been given a forty point start on the handicap coupon by the bookies. You could get 200/1 on a Lebanon win but a one hundred pound bet on the Kiwi´s would win you just a quid.


New Zealand are currently ranked as number one in the World, Lebanon in thirteenth place on the international table, but after making the quarter finals last time out they were hopeful that they would be able to achieve the same this time round, starting with limiting the against score.


This is the second time that the two sides have met, New Zealand winning by 64-0 in the only previous encounter.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 16th Oct 2022 9:17 PM | Views : 6488 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The fourth match of this year’s World Cup saw Headingley play host to the clash between debutants Jamaica and Ireland.


The more experienced Wolfhounds were the clear favourites in the bookmakers’ markets at 1-125 for the win, while the Reggae Warriors were 16-1.


Leeds’ Richie Myler got the game under way on his club home ground, as Ireland started their first game in three years. Ireland  the best of the opening sets, with a cut-out pass to left winger Innes Senior looking like it would lead to and early score before he was pushed into touch.


...Read on...
Posted by tb on Sun 16th Oct 2022 7:04 PM | Views : 7983 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

Scotland, ranked fifteenth in the world, took on Italy (seventeenth) in the second Group B fixture with the opportunity that a big win from either side could see them top the group after Australia only managed a thirty-four-point win over Fiji last night.


The sides have met twice previously with Scotland winning one and the other ending in a draw, the win being Scotlands record 104-0 win in 2009 European Cup, the other being a 30-30 draw in the group stages of the Word Cup in 2013.


Scotland had been handicapped by twelve points on the coupon, but with little to go on as to how the two sides would settle, it was a very difficult game to call. Both sides needed to win to give themselves any chance of finishing in the top two, the competition would be as good as over for today’s losing side.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 16th Oct 2022 4:25 PM | Views : 6789 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The defending World Champions Australia had a relatively straight-forward opening fixture against 100/1 outsiders Fiji and despite some surprise selections in their squad they were still massive favourites to win the game, and to go on and retain the trophy at Old Trafford in a month´s time.


There were seven international debutants in Mal Meninga´s seventeen-man side but with squad numbers allocated to players based on appearances for their country rather than traditional positions it was sure to lead to some confusion for supporters and commentators.


Fiji had been given a forty point start on the coupon but their track record in the one game played this afternoon was in tatters after they had made Samoa slight favourites to beat England. The World was ready to see what sort of side Meninga had assembled for the assault on this year’s World Cup.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 15th Oct 2022 9:17 PM | Views : 5224 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

One thousand, seven hundred and seventy-eight days since Australia beat England in Brisbane to lift the last World Cup, and delayed by twelve months due to the COVID pandemic, the 2021 Rugby League World Cup finally got underway at St James´ Park in Newcastle as hosts England took on the fancied Samoa in what promised, on paper at least, to be a very close contest.


Shaun Wane had agonised for months over his selection for what was a must win game both in terms of English aspirations, while maintaining the interest of any casual viewers tuning in to the BBC coverage of the competition.


The bookies could barely choose between the two sides, Samoa being installed as slight favourites with a two-point handicap on the coupon. A packed and partisan stadium held their breath and hoped for the best.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 15th Oct 2022 4:45 PM | Views : 6393 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

England head coach Shaun Wane has named his 19-strong squad for Saturday’s Rugby League World Cup tournament opener against Samoa at St James’s Park, Newcastle (kick off 2.30pm).


Skipper Sam Tomkins will enjoy his first taste of Rugby League World Cup action since the semi-final defeat by New Zealand at Wembley Stadium in 2013. The Catalans Dragons full back is one of five players with at least 20 England test caps to their name, alongside Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Chris Hill (Huddersfield Giants), Kallum Watkins (Salford Red Devils) and Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders).


Burgess and Whitehead are among a six-strong NRL contingent which also includes Herbie Farnworth (Brisbane Broncos), Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters), Luke Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs) and Dom Young (Newcastle Knights).


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 13th Oct 2022 12:07 PM | Views : 8641 | Replies : 5 | READ MORE

New Zealand warmed up for the World Cup with a Bartercard International Challenge against Super League Grand Finalists Leeds Rhinos at Emerald Headingley.


The two sides last met in 2015 as a warmup before New Zealand played a three match test series against England. On that occasion the Kiwis ran out as 34-16 winners after leading by 10-6 at the interval. On the score board for Leeds were Joel Moon with two tries and Tom Briscoe with Jordan Lilley kicking two goals.


The bookies had given the Rhinos, and their returning guests, a twenty-four point start on the handicap coupon, even without a host of Grand Finalists who were rested ahead of the opening World Cup fixture.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 8th Oct 2022 7:47 PM | Views : 7795 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

With just eight days to go until England raise the curtain on the 2021 Rugby League World Cup (2022) when they take on Samoa, Shaun Wane took his only opportunity to play an international test match against Fiji at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.


George Williams was handed the England captaincy with World Cup skipper Sam Tomkins not asked to take part in this warm-up game as the coach looked to test out some of his options before the full-on battle commences.


England, ranked third in the World, were clear favourites with the bookies and given an eighteen-point handicap on the coupon against a Fiji side who are officially ranked as sixth in the World. England had nine on the bench, Samoa had seven.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 7th Oct 2022 9:17 PM | Views : 3874 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After the end of the domestic season last weekend, we can´t wait for the start of the World Cup, and we guess you´re the same. But it is still a whole nine days until England run out at St James Park in Newcastle to face the terrifying prospect of a game against the tremendous side from Samoa. Nerves will be jangling, and spines will be tingling.


But why wait a week, there are plenty of warm-up games coming up over the next few days to either get yourself to and experience, or to watch on the small screen.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 6th Oct 2022 2:15 PM | Views : 10617 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

As we await with anticipation what promises to be a sensational Rugby League World Cup, we thought we´d remind you about the great RLFANS.COM merchandise that you can purchase through our partners at the wonderful Skull Print.


Whether it’s a hoodie for the World Cup games, a T-Shirt to wear on the terraces next season, or a Christmas present for your nearest and dearest, then there are some great options available.


All your purchases go to support the site and keep our servers running.


...Read on...
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 5th Oct 2022 11:58 AM | Views : 8300 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE


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