England vs Papua New Guinea: Rugby League World Cup quarter-finals live scores, blog

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    England vs Papua New Guinea

    2017 Rugby League World Cup

    Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne
    England Papua New Guinea
    36 SCORE 6
    7 Tries 1
    4 Conversions 1
    0 Penalty Goals 0
    0 Field Goals 0

    Match result:

    England have marched into a Rugby League World Cup semi-final showdown with Tonga after an unconvincing 36-6 win over Papua New Guinea in Melbourne.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    England 36
    Papua New Guinea 6

    Match preview:

    England will look to continue their solid Rubgy League World Cup campaign when they tackle the dynamic Papua New Guinea in the last of the four quarter-finals in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon. Join The Roar for a live blog from 4pm AEDT.

    In what shapes to be as potentially the most intriguing semi final contest, no-one can count on form or reputation, as Fiji showed when they sensationally bundled New Zealand out yesterday.

    We’ll start with PNG.

    Coach Michael Marum has stuck largely with the same group throughout the tournament, and continues to show his faith in that group, with only one change in the stating side. Lachlan Lam is replaced by the experienced Ase Boas at five-eighth, who partners his brother, Watson, in the halves.

    So, consistently few team changes, and three drubbings of Ireland, the USA and Wales respectively. Where do PNG fall down? Travel. They’ve played every game in Port Moresby, buoyed by a strong home crowd. Travelling to Melbourne will be a test… That’s before they run into Wayne Bennett’s men, who have been impressive at times in this tournament.

    England have been good, but not great in this RLWC. Bennett himself has rued on more than one occasion, his side’s tendency to fall off, and ‘go to sleep’ for minutes at a time. They’ll need to turn out a strong eighty-minute performance if they’re to topple PNG, though.

    Wins over France and Lebanon were decisive without being clinical, and their defensive efforts against the Kangaroos were very good without being complete.

    In team news, the biggest inclucsion is Sam Burgess, who returns from a knee injury. Kallum Watkins takes Mark Percival’s place, while Ryan Hall checks in for the hot and cold Stefan Ratchford. The halves are unchanged, and the Widdop fullback experiment continues.

    ‌Where the game will be won
    The hookers. James Segeyaro has arguably been PNG’s best this tournament, and consistently finds holes in attack that others seem to not be able to. However, he runs into Josh Hodgson who has been equally as good.

    In terms of how they hinge for the team, whoever can control their teams go forward, and work efficiently out of dummy half, should see their respective outside backs do the job in a bumper clash.

    Prediction
    Yes, England haven’t turned in the 80-minute performance they’ve been desperately craving, however they ooze class, and have a huge in with Sam Burgess back in the fray. It’ll be a grind, but Bennett’s men will be singing Jerusalem all the way to the semi-finals.

    England by 8.

    Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 4pm AEDT.