Rugby League FOUR NATIONS - WEEK THREE

S J

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NZ v England

- will be a good game. A strong win to England might even get them to the final. Even a loss might still see them make it - a tight loss.


Australia v Samoa


- Aussies need a win to get to the final. They might need a good win but should be OK.
 

S J

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The 2014 Four Nations is fast proving to be the greatest tournament of its kind since the event's inception in 2009.

In fact all four participating countries can still make the tournament decider heading into the final round robin fixtures, and alternatively, each nation can also miss out on the big dance.

Even underdogs Toa Samoa, who have proven worthy competitors despite losing to England and New Zealand, can still make the final if results go their way.

With the Kiwis set to take on England in Dunedin and Australia fighting the might of Samoa in Wollongong, a scintillating weekend of football beckons with all roads leading to Wellington.

See How:

http://www.nrl.com/how-each-team-can-make-the-four-nations-final/tabid/10874/newsid/82864/default.aspx?cid=NRL_HP_Featured
 

S J

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There were no charges from the weekend's two Four Nations clashes despite several players being placed on report.

England back-rower Liam Farrell was perhaps the player in most danger of being cited after an alleged chicken wing tackle in the 7th minute which left Kangaroos fullback Greg Inglis in some discomfort.

After the match Australian coach Tim Sheens described the tackle as "ugly" and suggested Farrell may have a case to answer at the judiciary.

In a frantic five minutes, two more players were also placed on report: Farrell's returning captain Sean O'Loughlan for a trip on Aussie skipper Cameron Smith and Kangaroos back-rower Greg Bird for a dangerous throw after his low tackle upended a rampaging O'Loughlin.

All three players are free to play this weekend, with England needing a win against New Zealand to guarantee a spot in the final and Australia needing a large, differential-boosting win over Samoa to guarantee them a place in the decider.
 

S J

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St George Illawarra Dragons will have four players involved in the Four Nations Week 3 fixtures taking place this weekend.

The New Zealand Kiwis will face the England Lions at Forsyth Barr, Dunedin on Saturday.

The Kiwis have named Jason Nightingale on the wing who will earn his 22nd cap for his country.

The Lions have again named Gareth Widdop as five-eighth who is poised to earn his te11th appearance for last tournament's runners-up.

Furthermore, Toa Samoa will challenge the Australia Kangaroos at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Sunday.

Dragons prop Leeson Ah Mau and halfback Kyle Stanley have both been named for Toa Samoa.

New Zealand
1. Peta Hiku
2. Jason Nightingale
3. Shaun Kenny-Dowall
4. Dean Whare
5. Manu Vatuvei
6. Kieran Foran
7. Shaun Johnson
8. Jesse Bromwich
9. Issac Luke
10. Adam Blair
11. Simon Mannering (c)
12. Kevin Proctor
13. Jason Taumalolo
14. Thomas Leuluai
15. Greg Eastwood
16. Martin Taupau
17. Tohu Harris
18. Lewis Brown

England
1. Sam Tomkins
2. Josh Charnley
3. Kallum Watkins
4. Dan Sarginson
5. Ryan Hall
6. Gareth Widdop
7. Matty Smith
8. George Burgess
9. Josh Hodgson
10. James Graham
11. Liam Farrell
12. Joel Tomkins
13. Sean O'Loughlin
14. Daryl Clark
15. Brett Ferres
16. Tom Burgess
17. Chris Hill

Samoa
1. Tim Simona
2. Antonio Winterstein
3. Tim Lafai
4. Joseph Leilua
5. Daniel Vidot
6. Ben Roberts
7. Kyle Stanley
8. Isaac Liu
9. Pita Godinet
10. David Fa'alogo (c)
11. Frank Pritchard
12. Leeson Ah Mau
13. Josh McGuire
14. Dunamis Lui
15. Reni Maitua
16. Sauaso Sue
17. Mose Masoe
18. Jesse Sene-Lefao
19. Tautau Moga
 

S J

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New Zealand
1 Peta Hiku
2 Jason Nightingale
3 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
4 Dean Whare
5 Manu Vatuvei
6 Kieran Foran
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Jesse Bromwich
9 Issac Luke
10 Adam Blair
11 Simon Mannering (c)
12 Kevin Proctor
13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange
14 Thomas Leuluai
15 Greg Eastwood
16 Martin Taupau
17 Tohu Harris
18 Lewis Brown

Coach: Stephen Kearney
England
1 Sam Tomkins
2 Josh Charnley
3 Kallum Watkins
4 Dan Sarginson
5 Ryan Hall
6 Gareth Widdop
7 Matty Smith
8 George Burgess
9 Josh Hodgson
10 James Graham
11 Liam Farrell
12 Joel Tomkins
13 Sean O'Loughlin

Interchange
14 Daryl Clark
15 Brett Ferres
16 Tom Burgess
17 Chris Hill

Coach: Steve McNamara
 

S J

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Australia
1 Greg Inglis
2 Josh Mansour
3 Michael Jennings
4 Dylan Walker
5 Sione Mata'utia
6 Daly Cherry-Evans
7 Cooper Cronk
8 Aaron Woods
9 Cameron Smith (c)
10 Josh Papalii
11 Sam Thaiday
12 Greg Bird
13 Corey Parker

Interchange
14 Boyd Cordner
15 Robbie Farah
16 Aidan Guerra
17 Ryan Hoffman
18 Ben Hunt
19 David Klemmer
20 Matt Moylan

Coach: Tim Sheens
Samoa
1 Tim Simona
2 Antonio Winterstein
3 Tim Lafai
4 Joseph Leilua
5 Daniel Vidot
6 Ben Roberts
7 Kyle Stanley
8 Isaac Liu
9 Pita Godinet
10 David Fa'alogo (c)
11 Frank Pritchard
12 Leeson Ah Mau
13 Josh McGuire

Interchange
14 Dunamis Lui
15 Reni Maitua
16 Sauaso Sue
17 Mose Masoe
18 Jesse Sene-Lefao
19 Tautau Moga

Coach: Matt Parish
 

S J

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The 2014 Four Nations is fast proving to be the greatest tournament of its kind since the event's inception in 2009.
In fact all four participating countries can still make the tournament decider heading into the final round robin fixtures, and alternatively, each nation can also miss out on the big dance.
Even underdogs Toa Samoa, who have proven worthy competitors despite losing to England and New Zealand, can still make the final if results go their way.
With the Kiwis set to take on England in Dunedin and Australia fighting the might of Samoa in Wollongong, a scintillating weekend of football beckons with all roads leading to Wellington.

1st – New Zealand: 4 points (+20 points differential)
If they win?
Hello Four Nations final. The same applies if they secure a draw.
If they lose? If the Kiwis lose by nine points or fewer they will be playing in Wellington next weekend. If they lose by nine points exactly they'll be tied with England on for-and-against, but would advance on percentages with the stronger defensive record of the two teams.
However, if New Zealand loses by 10 or more points then England will overtake them on the ladder, leaving the Kiwis relying on the Kangaroos not making up points difference between the two against Samoa.

2nd – England: 2 points (+2)
If they win?
England will be hoping to win by 10 points or more to ensure their place in the final. A win by a smaller margin would still have them below New Zealand on the ladder, meaning they would need Australia to lose to Samoa or fail to make up the points difference. For example, an eight-point win for England would take them into the final if Australia beat Toa Samoa by fewer than 24 points.
If they lose? It's probably curtains. A defeat or a draw for England would leave Australia needing to win by any margin to make the final, so the Brits would be praying for a shock Toa Samoa victory over the Kangaroos. But it would have to be a narrow victory; if Samoa win and leap England on points differential, then England and Australia would miss out on the final.

3rd – Australia: 2 points (-14)
If they win?
The Kangaroos' -14 points differential is their biggest problem. If New Zealand beat the English on Saturday night, then any Australian victory would see the Kangaroos leap over England and into the final. The same goes for a draw in the New Zealand-England match. But any England victory would require Australia to win and win big – they currently trail England on for-and-against by 16 points (a margin that would increase with an England win) and trail New Zealand on for-and-against by 34 points.
If they lose? If Samoa pull off an upset win then Australia will miss a first tournament final for the first time in 60 years unless England lose by 17 points plus whatever margin Australia loses by. In the same vein, if the Kangaroos and Toa Samoa draw then England need to lose by 17 points for Australia to qualify.

4th – Samoa: 0 points (-8)
If they win?
The Samoans need New Zealand to beat England on Saturday night to have any chance of snatching a place in the final. A 10-point differential currently separates England and Toa Samoa, so the Samoans would need to make up the difference in order to advance. If the Kiwis beat England by 10, any Samoan victory would send them through. On the other hand, if England beat the Kiwis or the two teams battle out a draw, then Samoa will be eliminated no matter the result on Sunday.
If they lose? They depart the tournament with their heads held high.
 

Northern_Union

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So - will the Kiwis run "dead" - suddenly decide to play a few "extras" ... ;)
Intriguing prospect isn't SJ....if the Kiwis take the foot off the throttle and England win and if Samoa can do what i believe 100% they can do and beat Australia or go within a few points of a win we may still see a NZ v England final. I'm really looking forward seeing the Kiwis and England play in the flesh on saturday.....both are stacked with world class players.
 

Northern_Union

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http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/league/322336/league-success-breeds-ticket-sales-success

It appears rugby league fever is starting to take hold in Dunedin.

The city will host its first international league game in 86 years when New Zealand plays England in a Four Nations match at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night.

The Kiwis upset Australia 30-12 in their opening game and then fought back to beat Samoa 14-12 on Sunday.

Those successes have had a positive spin-off, with Dunedin Venues marketing and communications manager Kim Barnes reporting increased demand for tickets.

''It is looking good,'' she said.

''We have had some categories in some parts of the stadium sold out. It is all the wins by those Kiwis that has got everyone excited.

''NZRL [New Zealand Rugby League] are not giving out any numbers, but they are certainly pleased with how it is going.

"But even since the first match, and certainly since the weekend, the sales have been increasing every day.''

There are still tickets available in every stand.

There are no temporary seats so the capacity will be 22,266.

England, meanwhile, will be smarting from its 16-12 loss to Australia.

Winger Ryan Hall was denied a try in the final stages of the match when he claimed to have forced the ball with his fingertip.
 

S J

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Australian back-rower Boyd Cordner believes Samoa's emergence as a genuine international force has given rugby league new life on the world stage.
Samoa have been unlucky to lose against England and New Zealand in their opening Four Nations matches despite being written off by many as merely making up the numbers before the tournament.
Now they could potentially stand in Australia's way of a Four Nations finals spot should they defeat the Kangaroos in Wollongong on Sunday.

Even if the Kangaroos beat Samoa they could still face an uphill battle to qualify for the final if England beat New Zealand on Saturday.
The last time Australia failed to make the final of a tournament was the inaugural World Cup in 1954.
Cordner said better performances by their opposition, rather than poor performances by Kangaroos players had contributed to their sketchy showings in the first two games.
"We are up against good teams," Cordner said. "We aren't sluggish because every team is in the same boat and had to back up. New Zealand have had a great squad for a few years now and England are always tough and Samoa [are strong now too]."
 
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S J

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When it comes to player burnout, Kiwis winger Jason Nightingale seemingly doesn't know the meaning of the term.
The New Zealand flyer will represent his country for the 21st time on Saturday night, having lined up for the Kiwis every year since pulling on the black jumper for the first time in 2008.

Not a calendar year has gone by since in which the 28-year-old has not represented the land of the long white cloud, no matter how exhausted his body is feeling.
"If I was burnt out, I'd probably have to say something. You can't just go in underdone or out of shape, because you've got to be honest," Nightingale says.

"You've got to be able to give your best for your country otherwise there a lot of other people that are willing and deserving to be there if that's the sort of shape your body's in."

Players such as rookie stars Dallin Watene-Zelezniak or Sosaia Feki, perhaps, or veteran winger Manu Vatuvei.

But Nightingale has established himself as one of Stephen Kearney's mainstays. A reliable, experienced winger who the coach can count on no matter how many games on the NRL calendar he's played.
 

S J

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New Zealand v England - Sat 8 November, 8:00pm (local), Forsyth Barr Stadium

Australia v Samoa - Sun 9 November, 4.00pm (local), WIN Stadium
 

moto748

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You must have a had a treat there, NU! Hope the crowd was decent.
 

S J

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You must have a had a treat there, NU! Hope the crowd was decent.
Great game - so close - could have gone either way. I repeat my earlier comment re Sam Burgess. He might have been the difference.

England had their chances - just couldn't do it. Manu tried hard to get them over the line ... ;)