Breaking down the Rugby League World Cup finals scenarios

By Scott Bailey, 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 2018

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    The Crowd Says (64)

    • November 6th 2017 @ 10:20am
      Sammy said | November 6th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

      So we cannot have an Australia vs Fiji Final ?

      That is a bit disappointing – as I would say they are the two best teams, on form and paper.

      • November 6th 2017 @ 12:42pm
        Fred said | November 6th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

        I do fancy Fiji as a smokey, but not sure I’d go so far as to say they’re one of the two best. A pity they’ve had some injuries to key forwards. But they are still a side with quality players all over the team.

    • November 6th 2017 @ 10:48am
      Dr Chop said | November 6th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      R u sure that the crossover games count for anything?

    • Roar Guru

      November 6th 2017 @ 11:13am
      Sleiman Azizi said | November 6th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

      Ye gads, imagine an Australia v New Zealand semi-final!

      Salivating much?

    • November 6th 2017 @ 11:13am
      Fred said | November 6th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

      Yeah they do count.

    • November 6th 2017 @ 11:14am
      Fred said | November 6th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

      Sleiman, how likely is that? If NZ tops their group is it possible, or do Tonga need to beat NZ for that to happen?

      • Roar Guru

        November 6th 2017 @ 11:53am
        Sleiman Azizi said | November 6th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

        Tonga need to top their group for New Zealand to end up playing Australia in a semi-final.

        I tell you what, should occur, you would have a semi-final ratings bonanza and then some should Australia lose.

        England v Tonga and Australia v New Zealand…

        Sal.i.va.ting.

      • Roar Guru

        November 6th 2017 @ 11:53am
        Sleiman Azizi said | November 6th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

        Tonga need to top their group for New Zealand to end up playing Australia in a semi-final.

        I tell you what, should occur, you would have a semi-final ratings bonanza and then some should Australia lose.

        England v Tonga and Australia v New Zealand…

        Sal.i.va.ting.

        • November 6th 2017 @ 12:43pm
          Fred said | November 6th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

          I can’t wait to see Tonga v NZ to see if Tonga will live up to the hype. Comfortably beating Samoa suggests they could well.

          • November 6th 2017 @ 5:14pm
            republican said | November 6th 2017 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

            …….NZ will put them to the sword with relative ease me thinks………

            • Roar Guru

              November 6th 2017 @ 8:03pm
              Sleiman Azizi said | November 6th 2017 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

              That wouldn’t surprise me.

              I’m not convinced about Tonga’s halves.

              But I guess we’ll see.

              • November 7th 2017 @ 8:48am
                Cedric said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

                I’m one eyed Kiwi, but look at the bench and the halves, if kiwis don’t take this out I would be surprised. That would mean Tonga vs Roos, don’t think the Roos want to play either team yet.
                Kiwis have to have their bench; Solomona Fonua-Blake Lui Levi. Strike and power.

              • Roar Guru

                November 7th 2017 @ 9:32am
                Sleiman Azizi said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

                New Zealand have the halves, certainly with Shaun Johnson.

                Australia have Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith.

                Even if Tonga can match either nation in the forwards – and I think they can – what happens next?

                I’m hoping for a New Zealand v Australia semi-final but I would be surprised if it wasn’t Tonga v Australia instead.

    • November 6th 2017 @ 11:15am
      Fred said | November 6th 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

      England v PNG and Fiji v Tonga or NZ would be amazing quarter finals.

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