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The Rugby League World Cup – Week Four Roundup

Credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Week four at the Rugby League World Cup saw four massive quarter-final clashes, and we’re now down to the final four countries battling it out to lift the trophy.

We look closely at all four quarter-finals and focus on next weekend’s two mouth-watering semi-finals.

Eight become four

It was a stunning weekend of rugby league action with all four quarter-finals taking place, kicking off with tournament favourites Australia facing Lebanon in Huddersfield on Friday evening.

It was a one-sided contest as the Kangaroos cruised to a 48-4 victory, with Josh Addo-Carr scoring five tries to take him to 11 in total for the tournament so far.

And Tommy Makinson also scored five tries as England dominated Papua New Guinea in front of a raucous crowd in Wigan on Saturday afternoon.

England powered to a 38-0 lead at half-time against a PNG side that could not cope with the physical dominance of Shaun Wane’s side.

Joining Australia and England in the semi-finals are New Zealand, who were made to work for their win over Fiji in Hull on Saturday evening.

The Kiwis eventually ran out 24-18 winners, but it took a late try from Jordan Rapana to seal the win after Fiji led 12-6 at the half-time hooter with converted tries from Maika Sivo and Kevin Naiqama.

Sunday saw the last of the quarter-finals, and it was a thriller as Samoa edged out Pacific rivals Tonga 20-18 in Warrington.

In a pulsating encounter, there was little to split the sides – a converted Brian To’o try edged Samoa ahead, and they held on for victory despite a late try from Tonga ensuring a grandstand finish.

One step to go

With four nations remaining, we’re just one step away from the Rugby League World Cup final, and the semi-finals have thrown up two huge clashes.

It’s a trans-Tasman clash on Friday evening in Leeds as old rivals Australia and New Zealand go head-to-head in what’s sure to be a bruising encounter.

They haven’t faced each other at a World Cup since 2013, when the Kangaroos lifted the trophy after thrashing the Kiwis 34-2 at Old Trafford.

Australia are yet to be truly tested in the tournament as they look to defend their World Cup title, but you can be assured they’ll be pushed to the maximum on Friday against New Zealand.

The second semi-final sees England face Samoa at the Emirates Stadium in London as the hosts look to book their place in the final once more, having been runners-up in 2017

This pair clashed in the group stages, with England running out 60-6 winners in Newcastle, but Samoa have grown into the tournament and will provide a physical test.

England have also improved as the tournament has progressed, and having gone into this World Cup at double-figure odds with the bookmakers, they are now the current second-favourites to lift the trophy.

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