Rugby League World Cup quarter-finals: Who’s playing who, how to watch and who will win?

The group stages are complete for the Rugby League World Cup, and we have loved every moment up to this point. Now it’s on to the serious business, the quarter-finals

With Tonga beating New Zealand last Saturday in the game of the tournament so far, it now means that the Kangaroos and Kiwis can’t face off in the tournament decider. That leaves Tonga and England with much easier paths to the big dance.

We have all the information you need for the quarter-finals below.

QUARTER-FINAL 1: AUSTRALIA VS SAMOA

When and where is the game – Friday, November 17th. TIO Stadium, Darwin. 8.30pm (AEST).

How can I watch – The game will be televised on Channel 7.

Who is expected to win – Australia. The Aussies won three from three in the group stage and have a point differential of +94. Samoa didn’t win a game but qualified based on for and against.

Who is on fire – For Australia, Cameron Munster. The youngster hasn’t looked out of his depth at all. Josh Papalii has been very good for Samoa.

Which players are yet to step up – New Roosters half Cooper Cronk has been below his usual high standards. Jarome Luai is yet to peak for Samoa.

Where did they finish in the 2013 World Cup – Australia won the tournament whilst Samoa got knocked out in the quarter-finals by Fiji.

QUARTER-FINAL 2: TONGA VS LEBANON

When and where is the game – Saturday, 18th November. Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch. 3pm (AEST).

How can I watch – The game will be televised on 7MATE.

Who is expected to win – Tonga. The upset over New Zealand has Tonga looking like a real threat to take out the tournament. The are playing with pacey backs and big running forwards. Lebanon only won the one game –  against France.

Who is on fire – Who isn’t on fire for Tonga? We have to go with Jason Taumalolo, who has been sensational. Mitchell Moses has played out of his skin for Lebanon.

Which players are yet to step up – Tonga will be hoping that Will Hopoate can play a bigger role in the finals series. For Lebanon, Robbie Farah needs to step up.

Where did they finish in the 2013 World Cup – Tonga didn’t make it past the group stage, whereas Lebanon didn’t qualify.

QUARTER-FINAL 3: NEW ZEALAND VS FIJI

When and where is the game – Saturday, 18th November. Westpac Stadium, Wellington. 5:30pm (AEST).

How can I watch – The game will be televised on 7MATE.

Who is expected to win – New Zealand. Despite a shock loss to Tonga, the Kiwis are still as good as anyone on their day. Fiji won their three games against the US, Italy and Wales, but don’t have the depth to compete with New Zealand.

Who is on fire – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been killing it at the back for the Kiwis, but Suliasi Vunivalu has arguably been the player of the tournament. The Fijian winger has crossed the line the most, with eight tries in three games.

Which players are yet to step up – Kiwi captain Adam Blair will hope to make a bigger contribution in the finals. Ashton Sims needs to do more for Fiji.

Where did they finish in the 2013 World Cup – Both teams lost to Australia. The Kiwis in the final, and Fiji in the semis.

QUARTER-FINAL 4: ENGLAND VS PNG

When and where is the game – Sunday, 19th November. AAMI Park, Melbourne. 4pm (AEST).

How can I watch – The game will be televised on 7MATE.

Who is expected to win – England. PNG have been one of the more exciting teams, but expect England to wear them down with their structure and skill.

Who is on fire – James Graham has been as consistent as ever which will excite St George-Illawarra fans. PNG winger Garry Lo may be the find of the tournament. He is electric!

Which players are yet to step up – Sean O’Loughlin brought his reputation from the Super League but is yet to hit full throttle. For PNG, more will be expected of Kurt Baptiste.

Where did they finish in the 2013 World Cup – England were pipped by New Zealand in the semis, and PNG failed to make it past the group stage.

RANDOM PUB TRIVIA

Only four teams have ever made the final. Australia, New Zealand, England and France.

Australia has won the most World Cup’s with 10 trophies.

Source: sportingnews.com