After yesterday’s shock win for Fiji over New Zealand and Lebanon pushing Tonga all the way to the final hooter, nerves would have been shredded in the England dressing room as they came up against a passionate and fanatically supported Papua New Guinea in the last quarter final.

 

PNG took an unbeaten record in the group stages to Melbourne along with a massive points difference bolstered by a 64-0 win over the USA last weekend.

 

England had Sam Burgess back in the line-up after two games out through injury and last weeks experiment of Gareth Widdop at full-back with Kevin Brown and Luke Gale in the halves was repeated by coach Wayne Bennett.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 19th Nov 2017 6:57 AM | Views : 2447 | Replies : 13 | READ MORE

A semi-final against favourites Australia awaited the winner of the third quarter final between New Zealand and Fiji at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. The Kiwis came into the game as strong favourites with few giving the flamboyant Fiji any chance of progressing.

 

Fiji were unbeaten in the competition with a very impressive +140 points difference, and New Zealand showed that they are fallible with last weekends surprise loss to Tonga.

 

The prospect was for an open game with many neutrals looking for a great Fiji performance after they named an unchanged side after their 38-10 win over Italy last weekend. 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 18th Nov 2017 8:30 AM | Views : 1995 | Replies : 4 | READ MORE

The highly impressive, and fancied, Tonga faced the challenge of makeweights Lebanon as the looked to secure a semi-final spot at the Christchurch Stadium.

 

Tonga won all of their games in the group stages, including that stunning win over New Zealand last weekend whereas Lebanon have just an opening weekend win over France to their name and they came into today’s game after suffering a 34-0 defeat at the hands of Australia last week.

 

The bookies set their odds in the certainty that it would be Tonga who would progress.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 18th Nov 2017 6:08 AM | Views : 1519 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

The TIO Stadium in Darwin was the venue as hosts Australia opened the knockout stage of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup with what looked he easiest of games against a Samoa side who have struggled in the competition and progressed to this stage with just a single draw.

 

While the Kangaroos have cruised through their fixtures in the group stages, Samoa have been comprehensively beaten by New Zealand and Tonga while securing their quarter final spot with an unconvincing draw against Scotland which allowed them to progress with a better points difference.

 

There could only be one victor, the bookies and pundits all agreed, the Green and Gold. 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 17th Nov 2017 11:29 AM | Views : 1667 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

This double-disc set features four hours of material including highlights of all the big games from Round 1 to Old Trafford, alongside action from the Qualifiers, Million Pound Game and the Grand Final in full.

Now that's what you call a comeback! From bottom to top in little over a year. Leeds Rhinos captured the Betfred Super League Grand Final with a devastating display led by departing skipper Danny McGuire, who guided his team to victory in a sensational farewell performance.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 14th Nov 2017 3:05 PM | Views : 1875 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

The maths were simple as England took on France in the second game of the Perth double-header. A French win by sixteen points would see them overtake Lebanon for third place, and a quarter final place, and thirty-two to overtake England into second. An unthinkable forty-seven point French victory would put England on the plane home.

 

Coach Wayne Bennett sprang a few surprises in the England line-up as he looked to give a run out to some of his squad players and offer them a chance to play themselves into the quarter final seventeen.

 

Expectations were high that England would discover some World Cup form.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 12th Nov 2017 11:58 AM | Views : 2577 | Replies : 6 | READ MORE

It was the battle of the Celts in the first of a double-header in Perth as John Kears winless Wales came up against Mark Aston’s Ireland side in the final game of the World Cup for both sides.

 

Even though both sides would be going home at the final hooter there was still pride, local bragging rights and future international places to play for. There were plenty of familiar names on show from both Super League and the Championship.

 

Wales needed a sixty-four point winning margin to finish ahead of the Irish but that looked a very difficult ask against an Irish side who have impressed in their opening two games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 12th Nov 2017 9:31 AM | Views : 2119 | Replies : 10 | READ MORE

The heat of Port Moresby was the venue as the Kumuls took on the Tomahawks looking the cement their place in the semi-finals.

 

A win for Papua New Guinea, much fancied by the bookies and pundits, would see them into a quarter final game, most likely against England. The ground was packed to the rafters with a deafening and partisan support hoping the cheer their side home.

 

On paper there was only one winner.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 12th Nov 2017 6:58 AM | Views : 1710 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The third game of the day saw the World Cups lowest ranked side Lebanon take on the top rated Australia. None of the pundits or bookies gave Brad Fittler’s Lebanon any chance of an upset and expected the host nation to sweep into the semi-finals with an unbeaten record.

 

Sydney Football Stadium was the venue and the crowd was bolstered by a good crowd supporting Lebanon. The Cedars were looking for a repeat of their great opening game form when the beat France and Australia were looking for a professional and clinical performance.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 11th Nov 2017 10:56 AM | Views : 2298 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

Progress in the competition was up for grabs as Samoa faced Scotland in a ‘winner goes through game at Barlow Park in Cairns. The winners would likely face Australia in the quarter finals with the losers packing their bags and heading home.

 

Scotland were without captain Danny Brough, who had been sent home from the World Cup after a post-match incident last weekend. After conceding one hundred and twenty four points in their opening two fixtures the Scots were the firm underdogs.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 11th Nov 2017 8:12 AM | Views : 2276 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

The much anticipated clash between New Zealand and Tonga would determine which side would finish atop Group B. Both sides had been impressive in their opening two group fixtures registering two big wins each and scoring seemingly at will.

 

The venue was a packed Waikato Stadium in Hamilton and the atmosphere was raised several notches as the two sides presented their cultural exchange, a little too close to one another in their shows of strength.

 

The stage was set for a belter with the bookies suggesting a New Zealand win, as Tonga were without the services of the free scoring Michael Johnson. The winners would likely have a quarter final game against Lebanon with the losers facing Fiji.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 11th Nov 2017 6:11 AM | Views : 3364 | Replies : 7 | READ MORE

Fiji confirmed their World Cup quarter-final match against the loser of tomorrow’s New Zealand v Tonga match, after a 38-10 win over Italy.

Italy entered the match needing to win by a clear 46 points – against a side who had racked up 130 points in their first two games – if they hoped to unseat Fiji from the top of the group and take their quarter-final place.

 And the tension clearly showed in a bad-tempered game that saw three sin-binnings in the first half.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 10th Nov 2017 12:31 PM | Views : 2274 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

 Parliamentary Group calls for international recognition of rugby league

The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group has called on the General Assembly for International Sports Federations (GAISF) to recognise the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) as the world governing body of rugby league.

The Group has written to GAISF President, Patrick Baumann, in support of the RLIF’s application. The letter notes that the RLIF has 71 national federations as members; the copyright to the rules of rugby league, nines rugby league and wheelchair rugby league; and the trademark on the men’s and women’s Rugby League World Cups.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 8th Nov 2017 9:49 AM | Views : 568 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two of last weeks losing sides met in the first of the double-header at the Townsville Stadium. A win would keep their hopes of progress to the semi-finals alive but a loss would signal elimination from the competition after next weeks final game.

 

Coaches Ciraldo and McDermott both made a handful of changes to their losing sides but the bookies had made Italy, shock losers against Ireland, as firm favourites to take the spoils.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 5th Nov 2017 12:03 PM | Views : 2960 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

Wales were looking to keep their competition alive as they had the difficult task of trying to get the points from a Fiji side which demolished the USA on the opening weekend.

 

No-one gave John Kear’s Welsh side and chance of upsetting the form book and taking the points, as he made five changes to last weeks defeated side.

 

The Townsville Stadium in Queensland was the venue and the pre-match Fijian sung prayer raised the goosebumps.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 5th Nov 2017 10:26 AM | Views : 2524 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

Mark Aston’s Ireland were unchanged from the side which beat Italy, against the odds, last week as they came up against a Papua New Guinea side at a partisan Port Moresby. PNG tinkered with their own line-up but the lack of changes illustrated the importance that both coaches gave to the game.

 

The Kumuls were strong favourites with the bookies whose physicality was expected to be too much for a brave Ireland side.

 

The atmosphere at kick off was electric, an eighteenth man for the Papua New Guinea side.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 5th Nov 2017 8:15 AM | Views : 3351 | Replies : 4 | READ MORE

England came into tonight’s game in Sydney with some trepidation against an almost unknown Lebanon side who had performed so brilliantly last week in their win over France.

 

The injury to Sam Burgess meant that Ben Currie was in the starting line up with Alex Walmsley, now recovered from a virus, given a position on the bench. Giving more of his squad some game time, coach Bennett brought in Ratchford for Lomax in the starting line up, and Williams for Roby on the bench.

 

It was a carnival like atmosphere as a massive Lebanese following hoped to cheer Brad Fittler’s side to one of the all-time World Cup upsets.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 4th Nov 2017 11:01 AM | Views : 3326 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

Looking through the group stages fixtures many people will have picked out today’s clash between Samoa and Tonga as one of the must-see games. Two massive sides battling it out in the heat of Hamilton as an intense rivalry hit the World Cup.

 

Tonga were big favourites after their win in the opening round to beat a Samoa side who lost to New Zealand in their opening World Cup fixture.

 

The tension between the two neighbouring islands had been building all week and reached a crescendo at kick-off after some amazing pre-match cultural exchanges.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 4th Nov 2017 8:35 AM | Views : 2684 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

There were plenty of changes for New Zealand as they took to the field at the Christchurch Stadium with the aspiration of sealing their quarter final place against a Scotland side who were well beaten by Tonga last weekend.

 

Steve McCormack’s Bravehearts side were in danger of early elimination in a tough group where a loss today would see them needing a victory over their final opponents next weekend, Samoa.

 

Despite these two sides drawing 18-18 the last time they met in the Four Nations last year, the Kiwis were massive favourites for a big win after their confident victory against Samoa over the opening weekend.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 4th Nov 2017 5:55 AM | Views : 3132 | Replies : 7 | READ MORE

Australia started the game as 1000/1 on favourites to beat a France side who were taken apart by an impressive Lebanon in the opening round. Mal Meninga rested a number of players including Cooper Cronk and Dane Gagai, and James Maloney was a late withdrawal due to a ‘personal matter’.

 

The expected loss for France wouldn’t end their quarter final aspirations, so long as England beat Lebanon tomorrow, but they would then need to beat England next weekend.

 

There were over 12,000 in the Canberra Stadium to cheer on their heroes.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 3rd Nov 2017 10:57 AM | Views : 3396 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE





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Fri 24th Nov 09:00
World Cup: Semi Final
AUSTRALIA
v
FIJI
Sat 25th Nov 05:00
World Cup: Semi Final
ENGLAND
v
TONGA
Thu 1st Feb 19:45
SUPER LEAGUE
WARRINGTON
v
LEEDS RHINOS
Thu 1st Feb 20:00
SUPER LEAGUE
HULL FC
v
HUDDERSFIELD
Fri 2nd Feb 19:30
SUPER LEAGUE
SALFORD
v
WIGAN WARRIORS
Fri 2nd Feb 19:45
SUPER LEAGUE
ST. HELENS
v
CASTLEFORD
Fri 2nd Feb 20:00
SUPER LEAGUE
HULL KR
v
WAKEFIELD
Sun 4th Feb 15:00
SUPER LEAGUE
WIDNES VIKINGS
v
CATALAN DRAGONS
Thu 8th Feb 19:45
SUPER LEAGUE
LEEDS RHINOS
v
HULL KR
Fri 9th Feb 19:45
SUPER LEAGUE
WAKEFIELD
v
SALFORD
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