It started with 16 teams and now we’re down to two as Australia and Samoa face off in the Men’s Rugby World Cup final at Old Trafford, Manchester.
All eyes will be on the star-studded Kangaroos line-up, especially half-back Nathan Cleary, who was criticized for not taking control in Australia’s semi-final win over New Zealand.
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Apart from a Kiwi scare, Australia cruised through the tournament, crushing Fiji, Scotland and Italy in the pool stage before comfortably beating Lebanon in the quarter-finals.
The same cannot be said for Samoa, who struggled to overcome a terrible start to the World Cup campaign.
Samoa were humiliated in a 60-6 thrashing at the hands of England in the very first game of the tournament.
‘Full respect!’ Mal won’t neglect Samoa | 01:58
Inspirational captain Junior Paulo revealed to Fox League earlier this week that a “difficult conversation” following the loss set the tone for the rest of the tournament.
Samoa then beat Greece and France before meeting – and defeating – rivals Tonga in the quarter-finals.
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Then came the semi-final and a redemption shot against England. It was neck and neck for most of the match, until Stephen Crichton netted the golden point-winning basket to send Samoa to their first-ever World Cup final.
Between the battle of Panthers teammates Cleary and Jarome Luai as well as Eels teammates Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard, many intrigues are brewing in this final.
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Source : BBN NEWS