Almanac Rugby League – 2021/22 World Cup: Rounds 1 and 2


The 2021 Rugby League World Cup is finally playing out in the UK during October and November with men’s, women’s and wheelies’ competitions. Here’s a wrap of what has happened in the first two rounds of the men’s pool matches.


Round 1:


England 60 Samoa 6
Australia 42 Fiji 8
Italy 28 Scotland 4
Ireland 48 Jamaica 2
New Zealand 34 Lebanon 12
France 34 Greece 12
Tonga 24 PNG 18
Cook Islands 18 Wales 12


The main takeout from Week 1 was England’s thrashing of Samoa. Forecast to be a tough campaign starter for the Chooms, it turned out to be a romp in the park as an undermanned and underwhelming Samoan outfit failed to turn up and got their backsides well and truly kicked. Everyone was left to wonder just how good were the Poms and how bad were the Samoans.


Tonga and PNG had a ding dong battle, and not without controversy as PNG seemed to get the rough end of the stick more than once, before Tonga emerged as narrow winners. Otherwise the round played out pretty much as expected. Josh Addo-Carr celebrated his return to rep colours with an energetic display, scoring a double to again make us question his absence from this year’s State of Origin series.


Round 2:


Australia 84 Scotland 0
Fiji 60 Italy 4
England 42 France 18
New Zealand 68 Jamaica 6
Lebanon 32 Ireland 14
Samoa 72 Greece 4
Tonga 32 Wales 6
PNG 32 Cook Islands 16


‘The Fox’ continued his blistering form for the Kangaroos in Week 2 with four tries while debutant Campbell Graham notched up a hat-trick. Fiji bounced back from their big loss to Australia with a belting of Italy. England were less than impressive before seeing off the French with a scoreline that flattered the hosts. Jamaica won the headlines with their first ever try in the World Cup, even though it came as they trailed the Kiwis 68-0. Samoa were the other comeback story with a 72-4 pounding of the Greeks while Tonga looked good in dispatching a plucky Wales. And hats off to Kasey Badger who became the first female referee in charge of a men’s World Cup match when she officiated the PNG v Wales match.


So, at this stage, the Kangaroos and the Kiwis are looking good, Samoa and Tonga are lurking, and England could be the ‘roughie’ of the tournament.


This weekend sees the completion of the men’s pool games when Round 3 is played. Next week sees the beginning of the women’s competition with matches on Wednesday and Thursday. Then the wheelies have their turn when they take the field on Friday.


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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.

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