The 2022 Rugby League World Cup
After two exhilarating semi-finals last week, we’re down to the final two teams. It’s Australia taking on Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup Final, which is one of the most intriguing matchups we’ve seen. Let’s have a look at it now!
Australia v Samoa
Australia has been the most consistent side in this year’s World Cup with a string of impressive performances, the latest victim being the Kiwis in a 16-14 win. Behind at halftime, the Kangaroos clawed their way back in a game that could’ve gone either way and were probably lucky to win. This week they face another big task against a Samoan side who have hit their straps at the right time. Mal Meninga has a full-strength squad at his disposal and has experimented throughout the tournament. It will be interesting to see how he opts to line up. Cleary appears to have locked down the half-back role with some tidy displays, while Ben Hunt and Harry Grant will alternate in hooker. A clean and clinical display should see them win this, and anything but would be a failure.
The Samoans booked a spot in their first-ever World Cup final, defeating the Poms in a thrilling one-point winner – a remarkable turnaround from their opening fixture. It’s been a monster effort to reach this point and they will undoubtedly make a bold showing against a powerhouse Australian side. Samoa’s edge will lie in their star power and experienced big-game players, most of whom are part of the current Penrith squad. These same players will also have insight on the likes of Cleary, Yeo and Martin, who will need to turn the screw for a Kangaroos win, which could be beneficial. Unlike Australia, there are casualties everywhere for the Samoans, which could be their downfall. Luckily, Junior Paulo has escaped a ban and is free to play.
It would be a remarkable story if they went on to win this one, but unfortunately, I feel they may fall short.
TIP: Samoa (-18.5)
It’s the Kangaroos game to lose, but that line is massive for a final and after their impressive win last week, I’m comfortable enough to take Samoa at the line.