How the Bookies See It
|World Cup Winner||
|To Reach Final||
- Australia have won the Rugby League World Cup more than any other team, with their first success being achieved in 1957 and their most recent in 2013, when they beat New Zealand by 34-2. Australia have failed to reach the final just once before, and that was in the first ever competition in 1954, so it would be a massive surprise if they missed out on the final two again this year.
- England have yet to win this competition, but they do take pride in the fact that Great Britain has won three times, in 1954, 1960 and 1972. England itself has reached the final twice, first in 1975, and then again in 1995, and they lost to Australia on both occasions. The team performed very well in 2013, but were beaten by New Zealand by 20-18 in their semi-final match, and they will be looking to fare better this time around.
- New Zealand have only won this competition once, and that was when they beat Australia by 34-20 in 2008, but they have reached the final on three other occasions. They were beaten by Australia in each of those finals, which is why there is such intense rivalry between themselves and their geographical neighbours. The Kiwis will be keen to exact revenge for their comprehensive loss to Australia in 2013.
- Tonga have never managed to get beyond the group stages in this competition, but many are saying that things could be very different this year, thanks to several players who were eligible to play for Australia or New Zealand opting to play for the Polynesian island nation instead. Andrew Fifita and Jason Taumalolo are two of those players, so it will be interesting to see if the new line-up helps Tonga to achieve their best World Cup result yet.
Whilst there are always plenty of teams with the desire to win in the rugby league World Cup, desire alone is not enough to succeed. All participating nations will be looking at Australia as the team to beat, and although it has been done before, there is no reason to expect it to happen this year. Insiders say that England are in even finer form than they were when they reached the semi-finals stage in 2013, but they will face Australia in their first match this Friday, so things won’t be easy for them by any means.
With Australia having such a fine record in this competition, we can’t see any valid reason to bet on anyone else to succeed. We will therefore agree with the bookmakers and tip Australia to secure an 11th World Cup title.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.