Thu, Nov 16, 1:30pm by Staff Writer
In the second half of the draw, the sides will arguably be happier having avoided the potential of meeting favourites Australia in the Semi Finals. Although Tonga and England is a mouth watering prospect of a Semi if they can overcome Lebanon and Papua New Guinea.
Tonga v Lebanon, Saturday 18th November, 3pm (AEDT), Christchurch
Tonga rocked the rugby league world last weekend when they stunned co-hosts and tier one nation, New Zealand. A sensational second half saw them come from behind to beat the Kiwis in an historic victory. That win secured them an easier route to the Final, having topped the Pool, and now face Lebanon.
Three wins out of three in the Pool stages for Tonga, emphasises just how far the nation has come on the field. At the 2013 Rugby League World Cup held in the UK, they failed to make it out of the Pools. Tonga are favourites to beat Lebanon priced at $1.02.
A solitary win over France in Pool A has seen Lebanon make history, with their first ever victory at a World Cup. Their reward is this clash against Tonga, and whilst they are up against the odds, they will certainly be pushing for an upset. In games against Australia and especially England, Lebanon showed the real threat that they could potentially be against the top sides. At $17 they may struggle to make an impact, but Tonga won’t get everything their own way.
Bet of the Match: David Fusitu’a to Score 2 or More Tries at $3.60
England v Papua New Guinea, Sunday 19th November, 4pm (AEDT), Melbourne
After opening the tournament with a hard-fought loss to Australia, England continue to improve with every game. Although the calibre of opponents hasn’t been the same. Yet, they have impressed, in particularly in their last game against France with Gareth Widdop playing at full back. He has retained that position for the game against PNG. With England receiving another huge boost with the return of Sam Burgess to the starting line-up.
His impact should be the boost England need to get past PNG priced at $1.15. England will have targeted a Semi Final as a minimum requirement for this World Cup and need to be at their best on Sunday. PNG will be aiming to stop England in their tracks and have assembled a squad with lots of talent. They may, however, be lacking the necessary match experience against the top tier sides to get past England.
Throughout the Pool stages, PNG displayed a thrilling brand of rugby league to an expectant home crowd in Port Moresby. The question is can they transfer that to Melbourne and stay in the game with England. They struggled to put away a resilient Irish defence that will be something similar to what England deploys and will need a huge performance to overturn a price of $5.80.
Bet of the Match: Ryan Hall First Tryscorer at $8.50
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