2021 RLWC Quarter-Final Teams, Preview and Predictions

Here’s a look at the quarter-finals at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, with team news, previews and predictions.

Related: RLWC Week 3 Teams, Preview and Predictions
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Quarter Final 1 – Australia 48 defeated Lebanon 4 (John Smith’s Stadium, November 4)

Kick-off GMT 19:30, Syd 06:30 Nov 5, NZ 08:30 Nov 5

Australia: 9. Josh Addo-Carr, 13. Patrick Carrigan, 2. Daly Cherry-Evans, 14. Nathan Cleary, 15. Lindsay Collins, 16. Reuben Cotter, 17. Angus Crichton, 18. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, 19. Campbell Graham, 20. Harry Grant, 4. Valentine Holmes, 21. Liam Martin, 8. Latrell Mitchell, 7. Cameron Munster, 11. Cameron Murray, 1. James Tedesco, 5. Jake Trbojevic, 10. Jack Wighton, 24. Isaah Yeo 

Lebanon: 17. Jalal Bazzaz, 6. Adam Doueihi, 10. Hanna El-Nachar, 11. Elie El-Zakhem, 8. Kayne Kalache, 15. Andrew Kazzi, 1. Jacob Kiraz, 14. Anthony Layoun, 3. Bilal Maarabani, 2. Josh Mansour, 5. Abbas Miski, 4. Brad Morkos, 7. Mitchell Moses, 19. Khalil Rahme, 20. Jaxson Rahme, 18. Khaled Rajeb, 16. Reece Robinson, 13. James Roumanos, 12. Charbel Tasipale

Referee: Chris Kendall

Head-to-Head: Played 1, Australia 1, Lebanon 0 (Last Match: 11/7/2017, Australia 34-0)

Australia will be short-priced favourites when they face Lebanon in the first quarter final at Huddersfield on early Saturday morning, Sydney time.

Nathan Cleary will partner Cameron Munster in the halves, with Daly Cherry-Evans to start on the bench. It’s an imposing line-up with Tedesco, Holmes, Mitchell, and Addo-Carr match-winners in their own right. That’s even before considering what impact the halves pairing will have, and a solid forward pack with the playmaking of Harry Grant out of dummy half.

It is an imposing task for the Lebanese which don’t quite have the big names up front but do have a solid halves pairing in Adam Doueihi and Mitch Moses. They also have plenty of NRL experience in Josh Mansour and Reece Robinson. Along with the talented Jacob Kiraz at fullback, Lebanon could ruffle the Kangaroos feathers early. However, it’s unlikely to stop an Australian victory.


Matt PritchardAndrew PelechatyShannon MeyerLachlan JeffereyJack Harbidge
Australia by 32Australia by 20Australia by 22Australia by 28Australia by 30

Quarter Final 2 – England 46 defeated Papua New Guinea 6 (DW Stadium, November 5)

Kick-off GMT 14:30, Syd 01:30 Nov 6, NZ 03:30 Nov 6

England: 1. Sam Tomkins, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. Herbie Farnworth, 6. Jack Welsby, 8. Tom Burgess, 9. Michael McIlorum, 11. Elliott Whitehead, 12. John Bateman, 13. Victor Radley, 14. Dom Young, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Matty Lees, 17. Mike Cooper, 18. Chris Hill, 20. Mike McMeeken, 21. Marc Sneyd, 24. Kai Pearce-Paul

Papua New Guinea: 8. Wellington Albert, 13. Jacob Alick, 18. Keven Appo, 23. Watson Boas, 9. Edwin Ipape, 24. Zev John, 1. Alex Johnston, 7. Lachlan Lam, 6. Kyle Laybutt, 3. Nene MacDonald, 12. Rhyse Martin, 10. Sylvester Namo, 19. Jimmy Ngutlik, 4. Justin Olam, 11. Nixon Putt, 15. Daniel Russell, 22. Jeremiah Simbiken, 20. Rodrick Tai, 16. McKenzie Yei

Referee: Liam Moore

Head-to-Head: Played 3, England 3, Papua New Guinea 0 (Last Match: 19/11/2017, England 36-6)

Home nation England will be looking to progress to the semi-finals when they take on an improved Papua New Guinea outfit at DW Stadium on Saturday.

England’s have been super impressive in their first three matches disposing of Samoa, France, and last week’s thrashing of minnows Greece. Dom Young will be a threat for the Kumuls out wide having scored eight tries this tournament, including four last week. They have a balanced side of players who’ve played in the NRL and those who play Super League. It’s one of the strongest packs we’ve seen from England in a long time with Tom Burgess, Elliott Whitehead, John Bateman, and Victor Radley providing punch.

While the home side will be favourites, Papua New Guinea can’t be discounted as their improvement at national level continues. The X-factor at the back is Alex Johnston and even though he hasn’t scored at the tournament, he can score from a backline move. The forward pack may not have the big names that England have, but they shouldn’t be discounted with Edwin Ipape dynamic out of dummy half, Nixon Putt and Leeds Rhinos Rhyse Martin leading the way up front.


Matt PritchardAndrew PelechatyShannon MeyerLachlan JeffereyJack Harbidge
England by 36England by 18PNG by 2England by 12England by 10

Quarter Final 3 – New Zealand 24 defeated Fiji 18 (MKM Stadium, November 5)

Kick-off GMT 19:30, Syd 06:30 Nov 6, NZ 08:30 Nov 6

New Zealand: 1. Joseph Manu, 2. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 17. Briton Nikora, 20. Isaac Liu, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Brandon Smith, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Isaiah Papali’i, 12. Kenneath Bromwich, 13. Joseph Tapine, 4. Peta Hiku, 14. Kieran Foran, 15. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 19. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 21. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 23. Scott Sorensen

Fiji: 1. Sunia Turuva, 2. Maika Sivo, 4. Kevin Naiqama, 19. Semi Valemei, 24. Vuate Karawalevu, 20. Henry Raiwalui, 7. Brandon Wakeham, 3. Korban Sims, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 17. King Vuniyayawa, 12. Viliame Kikau, 22. Siua Wong, 11. Taniela Sadrugu, 5. Mitieli Vulikijapani, 14. Penioni Tagituimua, 15. Tevita Toloi, 16. Lamra Manuel-Liolevave, 10. Ben Nakubuwai, 13. Tui Kamikamica

Referee: Gerard Sutton

Head-to-Head: Played 1, Fiji 1 New Zealand 0 (Last Match: 18/11/2017, Fiji 4-2)

New Zealand have a score to settle when they face Fiji in the third of the Rugby League World Cup quarter finals on Saturday.

They lost in the corresponding quarter final match at the 2017 tournament to the Fijians 4-2 in Wellington. This time around New Zealand have arguably a stronger side with Joeseph Manu in sensational form in the tournament and a strong halves pairing in Dylan Brown and Jahrome Hughes. Despite missing Jared Waerea-Hargreaves up front, the Kiwis pack is solid with James Fisher-Harris and Joseph Tapine leading the pack.

Should Fiji provide an upset just like in 2017, they will need to be solid as a rock in defence and vastly improve on their effort against Australia earlier in the tournament. Viliame Kikau and Api Koroisau need to get their hands on the ball often to create momentum. There’s no doubt that the Fijian side has the attacking power in their backline, but it depends on whether they can frustrate the Kiwis for long periods of the game.


Matt PritchardAndrew PelechatyShannon MeyerLachlan JeffereyJack Harbidge
New Zealand by 10New Zealand by 6New Zealand by 36New Zealand by 24New Zealand by 24

Quarter Final 4 – Tonga Vs Samoa (Halliwell Jones Stadium, November 6)

Kick-off GMT 19:30, Syd 06:30 Nov 7, NZ 08:30 Nov 7

Tonga: 6. Talatau Amone, 18. David Fifita, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 17. Moeaki Fotuaika, 9. Siliva Havili, 1. Will Hopoate, 24. Isaiya Katoa, 5. Sione Katoa, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Keaon Koloamatangi, 7. Tui Lolohea, 14. Soni Luke, 21. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 4. Will Penisini, 19. Mosese Suli, 16. Tevita Tatola, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 13. Jason Taumalolo, 2. Daniel Tupou

Samoa: 4. Stephen Crichton, 20. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 15. Royce Hunt, 23. Oregon Kaufusi, 25. Tim Lafai, 16. Spencer Leniu, 9. Danny Levi, 6. Jarome Luai, 2. Taylan May, 7. Anthony Milford, 8. Josh Papali’i, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Ligi Sao, 26. Ken Sio, 12. Jaydn Su’a, 1. Joseph Sua’ali’i, 17. Martin Taupau, 5. Brian To’o, 22. Kelma Tuilagi 

Referee: Ashley Klein

Head-to-Head: Played 20, Tonga 10, Samoa 9, Drawn 1 (Last Match: 23/6/2018, Tonga 38-22)

This is the anticipated Pacific showdown between Tonga and Samoa which will finalise which four teams go through to the semi-finals.

While Tonga finished unbeaten in Pool D with wins over Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands and Wales, it wasn’t quite the case for Samoa who suffered a heavy defeat against England before disposing of Greece and France.

The forward pack battle will be outrageous with Addin Fonua-Blake, Felise Kaufusi, Keaon Koloamatangi and Jason Taumololo suiting up for Tonga, and Junior Paulo, Jaydn Su’A, Josh Papali’i and Marty Taupau on the opposing side.

With not much difference across the forwards and backline, Samoa might have the edge in the halves. Jarome Luai has led Samoa brilliantly in the last two matches and along with Anthony Milford are experienced play makers. This is not to discount the efforts of Tui Lolohea and young Dolphins bound five-eighth, Isaiya Katoa.

Expect this game to go down to the wire with the winner to advance and play England in London early Sunday morning, Australian time.


Matt PritchardAndrew PelechatyShannon MeyerLachlan JeffereyJack Harbidge
Samoa by 8Tonga by 10Tonga by 2Tonga by 4Tonga by 6

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