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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Predictions of winners in the groups in the Rugby League World Cup 2013

This year’s Rugby League World Cup 2013 could be one of the sporting events of the year, with some decent TV coverage on offer and an enticing battle between the three superpowers of the game England, New Zealand and Australia. proudly sponsors an event that could launch international Rugby League to a new wider audience. The tournament is being held as a collective venture in England, France, Ireland and Wales, kicking off at Millennium Park, Cardiff, on the 26th of October.

The opening ceremony and two opening bouts are planned for the 26th: England take on Australia to give us a flavour of the tournament to come, and then Wales play Italy in an intriguing intergroup match between two of the tournament’s most fancied outsiders.

Group A consists of Australia, England, Fiji and Ireland and it’s likely that the group will conclude in that order. It’s difficult to see England toppling Australia but it is more than possible.

Group B consists of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, France and Samoa. Quite simply it’s hard to see any team getting near New Zealand from this group with the exception of Samoa who should be the sternest test.

France are of course a renowned force in Rugby Union but in this code they’re a long way off the mark. Nevertheless, an upset isn’t impossible.

Group B kicks-off on the 27th of October with a contest between New Zealand and Samoa at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington.

Tonga are the top dogs in Group C, with France and Italy providing the numbers. Group D consists of Wales, The Cook Islands and The United States, and as much as they may not be contenders for the tournament, they could make for compelling rugby.

Wales are a proud Rugby nation and as much as they don’t have much of a history in Rugby League, they should have enough to see off these teams.

The first two teams in Group A and B go through along with the third placed side. To qualify from Group C and D, a team must win the Group. One would guess that Australia, England and Fiji would go through from Group A; New Zealand, Samoa and one other from Group B; Tonga from Group C and Wales from Group D.

As with all sports the Group Stages of the tournament will provide some of the most compelling rugby of the tournament. We’ll see mismatches in ability and contrasting tactical contests, giving a tournament which is essentially a three horse race a great deal of spice and variety.  

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