Quarterfinal Round Up

What an unbelievable few games we have seen this weekend. Fiji make history against New Zealand, Lebanon run Tonga right down to the wire, Australia batter Samoa and England down a fiery Kumuls side.

Australia vs Samoa: Valentine Holmes etched his name into World Cup history on Friday after scoring 5 tries in a single game, something no player has ever done before. It was the usual high standard from Australia, unfortunately Samoa had no answer to it and the scored began to reflect this, after 30 minutes it was already 24 points to nil. Samoa were resilient and tried to find a way back into the game, but errors began to creep in and they were punished time and time again by this well drilled Australian side. Alongside the aforementioned 5 tries of Valentine Holmes, Billy Slater crossed once and Michael Morgan grabbed a double. Smith converted 7 of 8 attempts at goal to see the Kangaroos into the last 4 with a 46-0 victory.

Tonga vs Lebanon: Tonga almost didn't make the semi-final. Nobody could have predicted just how close this game would be, it didn't look like it would go that way judging by the first 30 minutes, Tonga scored 4 tries, Lolohea, Fusitua twice and Hopoate with tries 3 out of 4 were converted, and it certainly looked like Lebanon would be on the receiving end of a cricket score. Somehow the Cedars fought back to take the game to 22-16 at the break with tries from Miski, Elias and Douehi. Moses converting 2 out of 3. Lebanon came out swinging in the second half, with stern defence and high pressure offence, they looked like they could and would steal this from under Tonga's nose. Ata Hingano took the two points on offer to take the game to 24-16 to give the Mate Ma'a some breathing room, that would be short lived as Abbas Miski would cross for his second of the game with ten minutes to play, Moses added the extras to set the game up for a grandstand finish. Unfortunately for the Lebanese side they were unable to find the killer blow and bow out of the tournament, losing 24-22.

New Zealand vs Fiji: It's incredible to think that this game was decided by penalties and penalties alone. Williame went close to giving this game a try on two occasions, both times he would be deemed as held up over the line. Fiji's pressure was unrelenting, attack after attack but coming to no avail against a stubborn Kiwi defence. This game was a rally of attacks, each side hoping that the other would make the fatal error to allow points on the board, it somehow wouldn't happen though and the game would be settled by Api Korisau and Taane Milne's penalty goals. For only the second time in World Cup history a game would be try-less. Fiji held on, fighting off a late New Zealand onslaught to see Fiji take a 4-2 victory and a semi-final fixture against Australia.

England vs Papua New Guinea: The Kumuls will have had the feeling it was their turn to shock the Rugby League World, for PNG it wasn't to be though. A very sloppy England performance sees them into the next round, somehow. England rushed too much which led to errors, by the end of the game England had a completion rate of less than 50%, which is incredibly poor considering they are supposed to be final contenders. Mcgilvary helped himself to a first half double and Walmsley crashed over for his first England try. Widdop was only able to kick 1 of 3 and this sent England into the half with a 14 nil lead. Papua New Guinea did score on the hour mark through Garry Lo and Martin applied the extras. England began to run rampant in the second half with two tries from Kallum Watkins and a try a piece for Ryan Hall and Ben Currie to see them into the semi-final to face Tonga, with a 36-6 victory over PNG.



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