Samoa has defeated the United States 54-10 while Lebanon has beaten Wales 50-26 leading towards a great final qualifying game in which the winner between Samoa and Lebanon will secure the last place in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
Many people expected Wales to beat Lebanon but after watching both teams last week I was fairly certain Lebanon were the better side.
Samoa were always going to be one of the teams to beat with their big name players, but Lebanon have done some really good work over the last 8 years to get the game established in the middle east.
Some within the games administration are sure to have their fingers quietly crossed that Lebanon make the World Cup ahead of Samoa.
The World Cup will have television coverage in the middle east but the amount of coverage it gets will be directly dependent on if Lebanon qualifies.
Samoa meanwhile is a hot bed of Rugby League talent with many players that turn out for New Zealand actually having more qualifications to play for Samoa. Many believe that if Samoa and Tonga had an equal standing in the game and played as many high profile matches as New Zealand do, they would at least be on equal footing with the Kiwi’s.
What ever the case, it sets up a winner takes all showdown between Samoa and Lebanon. Its hard to pick a winner here, I like the firepower the Samoans have but the Lebanese pack is very aggressive and they are pretty handy when it comes to being able to guide themselves around the park.
Just think, a year out from the World Cup and we already have vital games like this. Anyone that things this is a bad thing for the game is kidding themselves.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Aug 28, 2020 0