Rugby League World Cup: Australia v Fiji Preview

Australia and Fiji will go head-to-head in the first of the Rugby League World semi-finals on Friday the 24th of November. 

The Rugby League World Cup continued to enthrall audiences this past weekend with Fiji upsetting the apple cart in sensational fashion by knocking out New Zealand at the quarter-final stage. That victory has seen the Islanders book a Friday date with title favourites and tournament hosts, Australia.

The 'Aussies come into the fixture as heavy favourites but they will need to be on their game if they are to validate that mantle as the Fijians will be high on confidence after last week's earth-shattering victory.

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Australia v Fiji | Friday 24 November | Brisbane Stadium | 11:00 (SAST)

To Win (80 Mins)
Australia 1/33 | Draw 30/1 | Fiji 10/1
Handicap
Australia (-23.5) 9/10 | Fiji (+23.5) 9/10
*Expected Handicap

Australia

The Kangaroos were once again at their dominant best this past weekend as they ran riot against the Samoans. Inspired by a record-breaking five-try haul from winger Valentine Holmes, the title favourites routed the poor old Samoans 46-0 and in the process reaffirmed their credentials as World Champions.

Last weekend's massive win was the third time in the tournament that the Australians managed to score more than thirty points. It also ensured that they advance to the semi-finals of the tournament without conceding more than 10 points in any of their earlier fixtures.

Fiji

The Fijians managed to do the unthinkable this past Sunday and knock-out the Kiwis. It was hardly the glittering game of League spectators were hoping for with both teams more focused on defending and not attacking. This dogmatic approach from both sides ensured the game would be extremely tight and that try-scoring opportunities would be at a premium, and so it proved with the Fijians edging their much-vaunted opponents 2-4.

Not many pundits gave the Fijians a sniff in the lead up to the quarter-finals and that will be the same case for their clash with the 'Aussies. They will come into the match as massive underdogs but that is a mantle that all Fijian rugby sides thrive on. They will also be high on confidence after last week's shock victory, which saw them qualify for a World Cup semi-final for the third consecutive time.

Verdict: Australia (-23.5) 9/10 *Expected handicap
The Fijians were absolutely terrific against the New Zealanders but that win would have taken its toll physically. I can see the Islanders struggling during the final 20-minutes of their semi-final, which will allow the 'Aussies to bag a plethora of points late on in the game. 


Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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