Week two of the Rugby League World Cup saw the games in the group stages and would seek to determine which teams would make it through to the quarter finals of the competition.
The teams progressing in the competition from Group A were all but decided with Ireland having won no games, thus failing to make the top 3 in order to make it to the final 8. Australia continued their dominant position in the group by thrashing the Irish 50-0 to take the top spot of the group. England beat Fiji in a closely fought match to take 2nd place in the group, and Fiji despite losing made the final 8 after beating Ireland in the previous week of competition.
Group B saw New Zealand taking further steps to defend their crown and remain undefeated with a comprehensive win over Papua New Guinea, who after a loss to Samoa earlier in the week were now eliminated from the tournament. Samoa took the number 2 spot in the group with two good wins over Papua New Guinea and France. The French managed to squeeze their way into the quarter finals despite an overall poor performance so far.
Groups C and D would only see one team continue from each group, and with the teams all so close it lead to an exciting week in the groups. Wales were the first team to be eliminated after a loss to World Cup new comers the USA, who despite losing mid-week to Scotland managed to progress to the knock-out stages in their very first World Cup. Scotland also managed to make the quarter finals after a thrilling 30-30 draw against Italy.
Despite not being on top of their group, England are still in a strong position as winger Ryan Hall is the tournament’s current top try scorer with 6. Italy’s Paul Vaughan is the current top metre maker with 497, but expect to see that change now they’re no longer in the competition. Ireland can take some solace in the fact Rory Kostjasyn is currently the top tackler with 140. New Zealand kicker Shaun Johnson is the tournament’s top goal kicker with 21 from 26.
- Scotland 30 – 30 Italy
- Wales 16 – 24 USA
- Papua New Guinea 4 – 38 Samoa
- Tonga 22 – 16 Cook Islands
- Scotland 22 – 8 USA
- New Zealand 56 – 10 Papua New Guinea
- England 34 – 12 Fiji
- Australia 50 – 0 Ireland
- Tonga 16 – 0 Italy
- Wales 24 – 28 Cook Islands
- France 6 – 22 Samoa
Friday 15th: New Zealand vs. Scotland
Saturday 16th: Australia vs. USA
Saturday 16th: England vs. France
Sunday 17th: Samoa vs. Fiji