It's do-or-die time now for both teams as a red-hot Australia take on a struggling Samoa side in the first 2017 Rugby League World Cup quarterfinal this Friday night.

Both sides will head in to Friday's game with completely different form lines; the Kangaroos near perfect through their opening three games despite player changes while Samoa can count their blessings to even be in the final eight after failing to win a single game at the tournament.

A 14-14 draw was enough for Matt Parrish's side to eek their way in to the quarterfinals, but you get the feeling that it might be as far as they go after drawing the Kangaroos.

Australia have named a full-strength side for the showdown as they continue their push for back-to-back World Cups, and will be focused on continuing their good performances so far.

With the tournament moving up to Darwin for the first time, both sides will be looking to adjust to the conditions quickly, which could lead to some free-flowing footy late on.
 

Quarterfinal 1: Australia vs. Samoa

MATCH DETAILS

Date — Friday, November 17, 2017

Time — 8:00pm AEDT

Venue — Darwin Stadium, Darwin

 

LIVE STREAM AND TV INFORMATION

Live Stream — Channel 7’s https://7live.com.au/ (Australia only)

TV — Click here for a full country-by-country list of TV broadcasts.

 

TEAM NEWS

Australia

 

Samoa

Billy Slater

1

Young Tonumaipea

Dane Gagai

2

Matthew Wright

Will Chambers

3

Ricky Leutele

Josh Dugan

4

Joey Leilua

Valentine Holmes

5

Tim Lafai

Michael Morgan

6

Jarome Luai

Cooper Cronk

7

Ben Roberts

Aaron Woods

8

Junior Paulo

Cameron Smith (capt.)

9

Jazz Tevaga

David Klemmer

10

Herman Ese'ese

Boyd Cordner

11

Josh Papalii

Matt Gillett

12

Frank Pritchard (capt.)

Josh McGuire

13

Leeson Ah Mau

Wade Graham

14

Fa'amanu Brown

Jordan McLean

15

Bunty Afoa

Reagan Campbell-Gillard

16

Suaia Matagi

Tyson Frizell

17

Joseph Paulo

Reserves (AUS) — Felise Kaufusi, Cameron Munster, James Maloney, Ben Hunt

Reserves (LEB) — Zane Musgrove, Frank Winterstein, Pita Godinet, Ken Maumalo

 

RLWC RESULTS SO FAR

Australia

Game 1 — Australia 18 def. England 4 at AAMI Park, Melbourne

Game 2 — Australia 52 def. France 6 at GIO Stadium, Canbera

Game 3 — Australia 34 def. Lebanon 0 at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
 

Samoa

Game 1 — New Zealand 38 def. Samoa 8 at Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

Game 2 — Tonga 32 def. Samoa 18 at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

Game 3 — Samoa 14 drew with Scotland 14 at Barlow Park, Cairns

 

HISTORY

The Samoans have come up against the Kangaroos just twice before, with the Aussies getting the win on both occasions. The two nations last faced off in the 2014 Four Nations series, with Greg Inglis and Cooper Cronk scoring two tries each to lead an inexperienced Kangaroos side to a 26 point win. This time however, the Kangaroos will play at full strength and the Samoans, who have not yet won a match in this World Cup, will have a battle on their hands.

 

KEY MATCHUP — Cooper Cronk (Australia) v Ben Roberts (Samoa)

Both Cronk and Roberts are leaders for their nations, and with the World Cup now entering the quarterfinals, both will need a big game if their sides are to win. The last time these two sides faced off Cronk led the Kangaroos to victory with a two try effort, while Roberts cut the Australian defense open with a try of his own. The Samoan attack has been disappointing so far in this tournament, so Roberts will need to step up if the Samoans are to have a chance against the Australians. Look for Cronk to have a hand (or foot) in several tries, while also potentially backing up on the inside for a four-pointer himself.

 

PREDICTION

Samoa has been one of the most disappointing sides in this tournament so far, and should count themselves lucky to have still made finals without winning a match. Meanwhile, the Australian’s have almost been in cruise control, winning all three of their matches so far and looking impressive in doing so. The expected hot-conditions and a chance for rain at Darwin should help the more experienced Australian side who will be looking to really stamp their authority on the tournament. Australia by 32.

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