The Roar
The Roar


The you-beaut, guaranteed guide to the Four Nations final

New Zealand's Kevin Proctor (left) celebrates with try-scorer Shaun Johnson. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Roar Pro
3rd November, 2014

We’ve been through two thoroughly entertaining weeks of the Four Nations, and at this stage, absolutely nobody’s position in the final is safe. Neither is any team out of the hunt.

With that in mind, here’s my you-beaut, guaranteed guide to how each team can make or miss the final.

New Zealand
The Kiwis’ situation is, not surprisingly, the best – they’ll make the final with anything better than a 10-point loss to England. A 10-point win to the Poms is the point at which England’s differential is better than New Zealand’s.

Although New Zealand’s differential is 18 points better than England’s (+20 against +2), every point England wins by would drag that gap two points in the Poms’ favour.

If the Kiwis do lose by 10 or more, they’re still a chance of holding onto their final berth if Australia doesn’t beat Samoa. And if New Zealand lose by more than 10 and Australia win, the combined margin of the two games needs to be greater than 34 for Australia to usurp New Zealand.

To sum up, for the Kiwis to miss the final the following must happen:

  • England beat New Zealand by 10 or more
  • Australia beat Samoa
  • The combined margin of these two results is more than 34 points.

The Poms are in a slightly odd place. They could beat the Kiwis and miss the final, and they could lose and still make the final.

The only way for England to guarantee a final berth is to beat New Zealand by at least 10 points. Anything less than this leaves them behind New Zealand on for and against, and hoping for a shock Samoan win. If England win by less than 10, and Australia beat Samoa, the Kangaroos’ victory margin must exceed England’s by at least 17 points to knock England out.


If England lose, they need a Samoan win to give them a chance. The combined margin of a Kiwi win over England and a Samoan upset would need to be less than eight points to keep England in the final. If England lose and Australia win, England is out, having only won one game to Australia’s two.

A win to Australia does not guarantee their progression, but a loss kills their hopes. As Samoa’s differential is better than Australia’s, a Samoan win finishes Australia’s tournament.

What the Kangaroos need to progress depends on what happens between England and New Zealand:

  • If New Zealand win (or draw), a win for Australia gives them a final berth
  • If England win by less than 10 points, Australia needs to beat Samoa by 17 points more than what England beat New Zealand by
  • If England win by 10 or more, Australia needs to beat Samoa, and have the combined margin of the two games exceed 34 points.

Yes, they can make it. A win over Australia (despite the fact it would be the biggest upset in international rugby league history) would give them hope. They also need England to lose, and the combined margin of the two games would need to be at least eight points.

So there we have it. All four teams go into this weekend with everything to play for.