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Rugby League World Cup Week 1 Review & Tips, Thursday October 20th

The fallout from the first week of the Rugby League World Cup means some interesting possibilities in the games to come.

There is plenty of value to be found after a fascinating opening to the Rugby League World Cup and BetDeluxe looks at some teams that have moved in the landscape.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea played above itself in the closest game so far against Tonga, narrowly losing a 24-18 clash.

A strong start by the Papua New Guinea team made people stand up and take notice of the rank outsiders before a Tongan fightback and a chaotic finish ended in a loss.

But they have shown enough to suggest they will challenge some of the tournament’s more prominent names and there could be some market opportunities.

Rodrick Tai was one of his nation’s best players in the game against Tonga and almost had the game-winning try only to be denied.

Expect him to feature prominently for the rest of the tournament and a strong performance in the upcoming clash with Cook Islands. 

For Tonga, there would be some concerns after they were the breakout team of the 2017 tournament and coach Kristian Wolf will have to make sure they still have the self-belief that propelled them four years ago.


Samoa went into the tournament opener against England highly fancied but was swiftly reminded of the host nation’s prodigious talents in an absolute thrashing.

Just like Tonga, Samoa has played above themselves in recent times but will need resilience to come back from a poor showing first up. They still have plenty of NRL experience to draw on, but there may be concerns that the six Penrith Panthers players in their squad may not have had a long enough break after their team’s NRL premiership.

Against a Lebanon team that will be without crucial player Adam Doueihi, they will need to bounce back strongly to justify their pre-tournament hope. Still, they may offer value as the market over-corrects following the England loss.


While their opening week win will heavily influence the market, England still offers some value and being the host nation plays a significant factor in their chances here. Their team has plenty of top-end talent.

Elliott Whitehead and Tom Young were just two of the English players to make a strong statement, and they could well follow up with another comprehensive victory over rivals France even though the French team will have been buoyed by its win over Greece.

Suggested Bet: England -36.5 at $1.90


There were doubts about Italy coming into the tournament with no representative football in three years, but a defeat of favourites Scotland may have eased those doubts.

Jake Mazen put his name up in lights with the tournament’s first hat trick, while Nathan Brown’s leadership shone through for the Azzuri.

They are now in the box seat with a game against Fiji that could secure second place behind Australia in the mighty Group B.

Suggested Bet: Italy to win at $5.60

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