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England v Samoa RLWC preview & best bets – October 15, 2022

RLWC 2022 betting

England vs Samoa

RLWC Betting Odds & Game Info

Best odds England $2.35 at Bovada | Samoa $1.58 at Bovada
When Saturday, October 15 | 2:30pm BST
Where St James’ Park, Newcastle
Watch live BBC Two (UK), Fox Sports (AU), Spark Sports (NZ)

A powerful Samoan side will be looking to extract revenge over hosts England in an intriguing opening game to the 2022 Rugby League World Cup at St James’ Park, Newcastle, on Saturday.

It will be the third time they have met in a World Cup group game, with England winning 32-6 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in 2014 and again 38-8 at New Zealand’s Mt Smart Stadium in 2017.

But while Samoa have gone ahead in leaps and bounds since 2017, England’s squad has been roundly criticized for being a little too pedestrian and lacking enough strike players to topple World Cup heavyweights Australia and New Zealand.

A broken leg in July while playing for the Wests Tigers against the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL certainly cost Jackson Hastings a halves spot in England’s team.

England coach Shaun Wane has acknowledged Samoa are a real threat but believes his side can rise to the occasion on Saturday.

Samoan coach Matt Parish has been handed an unbelievable squad that includes no less than eight players — six from Penrith and two from Parramatta — who played in this month’s NRL grand final showdown.

With the likes of try-scoring specialist Brian To’o and his Panthers’ teammates Stephen Crichton, Jerome Luai, and Tyron May as well as a forward pack that boasts the muscle of Junior Paulo, Josh Papali’i, Jaydn Su’a, Josh Aloiai, and big Martin Taupau off the bench, Samoa look as intimidating as any side in the tournament.

While England have a smattering of NRL stars including Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), and Herbie Farnworth (Brisbane Broncos), they will need to play out of their skin to deny Samoa what would be their biggest World Cup scalp.

Experienced fullback Sam Tomkins, who had a stint in the NRL with the New Zealand Warriors a few years ago, is now 33 but still playing well as the Super League’s current Man of Steel holder.

His opposite in the fullback position, Joseph Suaali’i, will make his international debut amid a blaze of media about his potential to one day be amongst the best player in the world.

Suaali’i, 19, was just six when Tomkins played the first of his 25 games for England.

Tomkins, currently playing for the Catalan Dragons, has played a massive 332 top-class games in his 14-year career.

Suaali’i has played just 23 games for the Sydney Roosters but the boom on him is huge and he finally gets a chance to show his skills in his preferred position for Samoa against world-class opposition.

One thing seems certain: if England can’t hold their own up front, then Samoa’s five-star backline — possibly the best in the tournament — will take some stopping.

Samoa by 13+ points


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