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Australia´s Jillaroos were given a massive sixty-six point handicap on the coupon and the bookies had stopped taking bets on them winning their game with the women from Cook Islands, who you could take at odds of 100/1 for the win.

The Cook Islands met Australia in the 2017 World Cup where they went down by 58-4, scoring their only points six minutes from full time, but they did beat the England Knights by 26-14 in their warm-up match in Leeds last week.

It was the final game of the opening round, Australia ranked as World number one in the women´s game against the side ranked eleventh.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 2nd Nov 2022 9:08 PM
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Group B of the Cazoo Women’s World Cup got under way at  York’s LNER Community Stadium this evening three-time champions the Kiwi Ferns came up against France, who then go on to face double winners Australia in the next round.

The Chanticleers will be hoping for a stand-out performance in a “group of death” containing the only two teams  to have won the women’s World Cup, before hosting the competition themselves in 2025.

But the odds were definitely in favour of the Kiwi Ferns – and the only time the tournament has come close to producing a shock so far was the previous night when Canada’s women scored 12 points despite going down to the PNG Orchids.

Posted by tb on Wed 2nd Nov 2022 6:58 PM
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The second game of the Women´s World Cup pitched Papua New Guinea against Canada with PNG the clear favourites with the bookies, Canada given a twenty-four point start on the coupon.

But the Ravens were very much an unknown quantity on the international stage and had a side made up of experienced rugby union players.

PNG are world ranked fourth, while Canada are currently ranked in sixth place.

The two sides met at the 2017 World Cup when Canada won by 22-8 in Sydney, however very few players who experienced that game were on show this evening at Emerald Headingley Stadium.

It promised to be a little closer than England´s big win over Brazil in the first match of the double header.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 1st Nov 2022 6:45 PM
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The women’s World Cup tournament kicked off at Headingley in Leeds this afternoon, with hosts England welcoming international newcomers Brazil, as part of a double-header at the famous ground.

The Amazons are the the first South American side to play in a World Cup tournament, and while they might not have a lot of rugby league experience – having only played on game, a friendly against France last week, since qualifying against Argentina in 2018, they brought plenty of wider sports background to the tie.

Captain Maria Graf has tasted life as a rugby union referee, volleyball player and judoka, as well as an under-18 Brazilian champion league player.

Posted by tb on Tue 1st Nov 2022 4:24 PM
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A quarter final against England on Saturday afternoon was up for grabs as Papua New Guinea took on a brave Wales side who had so far failed to record a win despite a couple of determined outings in the group of death.

It was the final game of the group stages and PNG went into it as the clear favourites to take the two points and finish second in the group.

But John Kear´s determined Welshmen knew that a win by twenty-two points or more would take them through.

All the Kumuls needed to do was lose by less than that twenty-two and with the bookies giving Wales a twenty-eight point start on the coupon, few thought that Wales were in with any chance.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 31st Oct 2022 9:08 PM
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The final game in group A was a ´do or die´ game for the runners up spot and a chance to play Tonga in the quarter finals as Samoa took on France at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium in Warrington with Samoa the firm favourites to take the spoils.

The bookies had given France a twenty-four point start on the coupon, but Laurent Frayssinous came into the match hoping that his side, packed with Super League stars would be able to spring a shock on Toa Samoa and Matt Parish´s group of NRL players.

Many neutrals were hoping the bookies would be right to set up a mouth-watering quarter final between Samoa and Tonga.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 30th Oct 2022 6:53 PM
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The last round of Group D kicked off at Middlesbrough everyone having a mathematical chance of making the World Cup quarter-finals.

Tonga went into today’s game undefeated and looking to top the group on six points and meet France or Samoa in the quarters.

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The Cook Islands, with one win behind them needed to win - and rely on the result of Wales’s match against Papua New Guinea tomorrow night - to qualify.

Tonga welcomed captain Jason Taumalolo into the side for his debut, having missed the opening two matches.

Posted by tb on Sun 30th Oct 2022 4:26 PM
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The Cedars and the Reggae Warriors went into the first clash of the third Sunday of the 2021 World Cup with it all to play for as any of the three remaining sides in Group C could join New Zealand in the quarter finals and set up a game against Australia next Friday evening.

A win of any description for the favourites Lebanon would see them progress, but should Jamaica win by seven or more points then it would be Ireland who move forwards to next weekend.

An almost unthinkable and unobtainable win of ninety-nine points or more for Jamaica and it would be they who jump from the bottom of the group, over Ireland, into second place.

The bookies gave the Jamaicans no chance as they handicapped Lebanon by forty-two points on the coupon, they were confident that it would be Lebanon who would be Australia´s opponents.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 30th Oct 2022 1:54 PM
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There was little doubt about the result of this game, between the champions, who have dominated the World Cup throughout its history, and the minnows of Italy.

Both teams got through their opening sets cleanly, but Australia made far more territory in their first six tackles than the Italians did, which was no surprise.

  What was a surprise though, was Jeremiah Nanai making the first mistake of the the game, knocking on at the play-the-ball in the Kangaroos second set.

Posted by tb on Sat 29th Oct 2022 9:17 PM
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Fiji took to the field in tonight’s penultimate World Cup Group B match knowing that their expected victory would see them join Australia in next weekend’s quarter finals - barring the shock of the tournament if Italy pulled off an unbelievable victory over Australia later tonight.

Scotland had lost both their opening games, conceding more than a hundred points, including 80 by Australia last weekend.

They weren’t realistically expected to do anything else tonight.

Posted by tb on Sat 29th Oct 2022 6:51 PM
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With England already qualified for the knockout stages, and likely to finish at the top of the group, there was just the matter of despatching Greece in the remaining group stage game and sending them home pointless.

England coach, Shaun Wane, could be forgiven for resting some of his players for next weeks endeavours, but that´s not the way he rolls, and he named a string outfit capable of doing some real damage on the Greeks.

For the second time in this World Cup a female referee had been appointed to the game, Belinda Sharpe from Queensland.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 29th Oct 2022 4:19 PM
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With two wins already under their belt it would take something extraordinary for the world number one side New Zealand not to make it to the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

That something extraordinary would start tonight with a twenty-nine point or more win for Ireland over the Kiwi´s and then end tomorrow with a massive win for Lebanon over Jamaica.

With Lebanon highly fancied to do the business tomorrow, Ireland knew that a loss tonight would signal their exit from the competition because of their round two defeat to the Cedars after disappointing their fans in the nature of the loss.

New Zealand were massive favourites with the bookies for a runaway win in the first ever encounter between the two sides, Ireland being given a forty-six point start on the coupon.

The Wolfhounds really had nothing to lose.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 28th Oct 2022 9:17 PM
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The draw has been made and fixtures announced for the 2023 men’s Euro B championship, which will also feature as the next phase of qualifying for the 2025 Rugby League World Cup in France.

Six nations will be involved, drawn into two groups, with Norway, Greece and Ukraine in A, and Germany, Czech Republic and Netherlands – who won through from last year’s Euro D competition in Turkey - in Group B.

The draw was made by European Rugby League outgoing director Graeme Thompson and new chair Dean Andrew, OBE.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 28th Oct 2022 4:14 PM
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Brazil and Cook Islands women made a significant impression in their warm up matches before the World Cup kicks off next week.

Brazil, in their first game in the northern hemisphere, went down 16-4 at Featherstone against France in greasy conditions, whilst the Cooks beat England Knights 24-14 at Weetwood in Leeds.

“I was very happy with the way the girls came out of the blocks, and by the second half we were performing very well,” noted Brazil women’s head coach, Paul Grundy.

“We’ve got the basic structure right now, we have a bit of work to do around the ruck and we’ll do that in the next few days.

The French girls have helped us get the nerves out tonight and I’m confident that we’ll be a match for the teams we are going to play next.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 28th Oct 2022 4:14 PM
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England Head Coach Shaun Wane has confirmed George Williams as captain for Saturday’s historic Rugby League World Cup fixture against Greece at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.

Williams, who captained England for the first time in their World Cup warm-up victory over Fiji earlier this month, takes over from Sam Tomkins, who is one of a number of players rested after appearing in the victories over Samoa and France which have already secured England’s quarter final place.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 27th Oct 2022 12:26 PM
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Brazil’s Amazonas make their northern hemisphere rugby league debut tonight (Thursday) when they take on France at Featherstone, (kick off 7.

30pm, local time) in a World Cup warm up game.

The South Americans arrived yesterday and are keen to put their squad work into practice.

 

“There is a diverse mix of sporting backgrounds among the group including jiu-jitsu and judo champions, previous Olympians, basketball players, dancers and football players who have made the switch to the 13-a-side game,“ noted Brazil team manager, Robert Burgin.

“As Brazil and France won't meet in the group stages of the World Cup, we are viewing it as a historic fixture to launch our campaign from.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 27th Oct 2022 10:54 AM
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The group of death, group D, threw Papua New Guinea against the Cook Islands in what was effectively a shoot-out for second spot in the table.

With the Cook Islands still having to play group leaders Tonga, and PNG with a final game against the weakest side in the group in Wales, the winner of today´s game would be in the best position to secure a quarter final encounter with the hosts England.

PNG were installed as the bookies favourites and were handicapped by sixteen points on the coupon but the Cook Islands were full of confidence after their win over Wales in the first round and came into the match knowing that a win would take them through.

The game had the potential to be a classic.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 25th Oct 2022 9:17 PM
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Whatever else happened in the Tonga v.

Wales game at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens, history would be made as a female referee, Kasey Badger from the NRL, took charge for the first time ever in a World Cup match.

Wales lost narrowly to Cook Islands in their opening game and knew that defeat today would effectively end their competition in the, so-called, group of death against a Tongan side who defeated Papua New Guinea by six points in their opening game.

Tonga were the clear favourites to win the first ever meeting between the two sides and were given a forty-six point handicap on the bookies coupon before kick-off.

John Kear´s side had a mountain to climb to give themselves something to play for in their final game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 24th Oct 2022 9:20 PM
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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.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Oct 2022 6:42 PM
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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.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Oct 2022 4:23 PM
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