The group stage of the Rugby League World Cup concludes on Sunday and at the end of the day down under we will know the quarter final line up for next weekend. There are still spots in the last eight available and they will be filled up over the course of the three matches on Sunday.
Papua New Guinea vs USA
Papua New Guinea have more than one foot in the quarter finals and if they can see off the United States they will definitely be in the last eight and will most likely be the opponent for England. USA can’t make it through but for sides at their level pride means a lot and they will want to restore it in this match.
Given the conditions that this match is going to be played under it would be a big shock if PNG don’t win this match but there might be an element of saving themselves for next week. If there is then USA could stay closer than the handicap suggests but that is guesswork and I don’t really want to go there.
Wales vs Ireland
By the time this match kicks off both these sides could be out of the tournament. Wales are definitely out and Ireland will be out if Papua New Guinea have won the earlier match so we should expect just pride to be on the line in this one.
Wales have plenty of that to play for having had a pretty poor tournament to date while Ireland have impressed in both their matches even though they haven’t won them both. I would expect Ireland to win but after three heavy weeks whether they have the energy to put Wales to the sword remains to be seen. I would rather watch this match than bet on it.
England vs France
The final match of the group stage sees England looking to book second place in Group A when they take on a France side who will progress themselves if they can see off England by 16pts or more.
You would have to say that is unlikely but the one thing in the favour of the French side is that England’s attack hasn’t looked all that cohesive in this tournament just yet. The negative for them is that defensively England have been the best side so far.
If England can find some fluency in attack they’ll win this at a canter even allowing for the changes they have made. I’m not convinced that will happen but there is a betting angle we can explore in this match.
Against Australia last week, France were absolutely horrendous defending their right hand side so England will surely come down the left this week. If that is the case I would be surprised if Ben Currie doesn’t find his way to the try line. He is 7/5 to score anytime which looks fair and 9/2 to go over two or more times. Both look acceptable to me.
Back B.Currie Anytime Tryscorer for a 3/10 stake at 2.40 with Paddy Power
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Back B.Currie to score 2 or more tries for a 1/10 stake at 5.50 with Boylesports
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