Breaking down the Rugby League World Cup finals scenarios

By , Scott Bailey is a Roar Guru

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    How the final round of Rugby League World Cup pool games can play out:

    POOL A: (Top three qualify)

    Australia 4pts (+60), England 2 (+5) , Lebanon 2 (-8), France 0 (-57)

    Australia v Lebanon, England v France.

    Australia will almost certainly qualify in top spot to face the winner of Samoa and Scotland, unless they are shocked by Lebanon. France’s tournament is over unless they shock England and the Kangaroos flog Lebanon. England should finish second and play Papua New Guinea or Ireland in the quarter-finals, while Lebanon should go third and face the winner of New Zealand and Tonga.

    POOL B: (Top three qualify)

    New Zealand 4 (+98), Tonga 4 (+60), Samoa 0 (-44), Scotland 0 (-114)

    New Zealand v Tonga, Samoa v Scotland.

    The winner of the Kiwis and Tonga on Saturday night will top the group and likely play Lebanon in the quarter-finals, while the loser is set to face Fiji. Samoa and Scotland face off in a do-or-die clash in Cairns, with the winner to play Australia in the finals. The Bravehearts come into the match in turmoil, with captain Danny Brough and teammates Johnny Walker and Sam Brooks sent home for misconduct.

    POOL C: (Top team qualifies)

    Papua New Guinea 4 (+52), Ireland 2 (+16), Wales 0 (-110)

    Wales v Ireland, PNG v USA (crossover).

    Ireland must account for the struggling Wales on Sunday, then hope USA shock PNG. The results will also need to be by a combined margin of at least 36 for the Irish to have any hope. Otherwise, PNG’s fairytale run will continue into a likely quarter-finals date with England. Wales’ tournament is already mathematically over.

    POOL D (Top team qualifies)

    Fiji 4 (+112), Italy 2 (+22), USA 0 (-92)

    Fiji v Italy, PNG v USA (crossover)

    Fiji will reach the quarter-finals unless Italy beat them by at least 45 points on Friday night to leap into top spot. It means that unless there is some sort of calamity, the Bati will have a tantalising quarter-final clash with the loser of New Zealand and Tonga, The USA’s tournament is already mathematically over.

    LIKELY FINALS:

    QF1: Australia v Samoa/Scotland, Darwin

    QF2: Winner New Zealand/Tonga v Lebanon, Christchurch

    QF3: England v PNG, Wellington

    QF4: Loser New Zealand/Tonga v Fiji, Melbourne

    Semi Finals:

    SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF4, Brisbane

    SF2: Winner QF2 v Winner QF3, Auckland

    Final:

    Winner SF1 v Winner SF2, Brisbane

    © AAP 2017