2017 Rugby League World Cup Final Preview

The day has finally come when the Rugby League fraternity comes to a halt as England and Australia face-off for the ultimate prize at the World Cup Final on Saturday 2 December 2017.

After 14 teams battled it out in 27 matches, scoring 206 tries at an average of 7.6 per game in front of 333,428 spectators over 5 weeks, two of the world’s greatest teams to ever play the game will battle it out at the Brisbane Stadium, witnessed by 52 500 adorning supporters.

In the history of Rugby League World Cups, Australia and England are the two countries to have lifted the Paul Barriere Trophy the most. Australia have won it 10 times and England on 3 occasions before the weekend’s Final. Australia are the reigning Champions and it will be England’s first time in 22 years since playing in a World Cup final, when they lost to Australia 8–16 in the 1995 Rugby League World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

Both teams had an interesting road to the Final as they were both drawn in the same pool at the start of the tournament and subsequently played each other in the opening match, which Australia walked away with an 18-4 win. The Kangaroos followed this up by resounding victories over France (52-6) and Lebanon (34-0).

Australia’s Valentine Holmes has scored a record 12 tries in Australia’s progression to the Final and is joint top scorer of the tournament, alongside fellow Kangaroo, Cameron Smith on 48 points.

England’s road to the final has been slightly tougher due to injuries and fierce competition since the outset back in October all the way through to the semi-finals where they held a 20-0 lead with just seven minutes left and then needed a controversial call on the final play of the match to prevent Tonga from sealing their comeback having narrowed the score down to 20-18.

England will have a fully fit Sam Burgess back for the Final after he sustained knee ligament damage in the opening match against Australia. Jermaine McGilvary is England’s leading try scorer in the tournament with 7 tries to his name.

With some tantalizing World Cup Rugby League betting odds, the word on everyone’s lips is that Australia should walk away victors for the 11th time in the history of the world’s oldest World Cup. The Kangaroos’ defensive record has been something to behold and so too their ability to score with ball in hand. England has improved as the tournament progressed but this should be a step too far for the Brits.

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