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MANCHESTER – Australia are going to win their semi-final clash with New Zealand – if you believe the World Cup organisers, at least.
Tournament bosses have provisionally booked flights for the Kiwis to depart within a day of the full-time whistle at Elland Road on Friday night (Saturday morning AEDT), with reservations that would need to be changed if the result didn’t go as expected.
Organisers have already lost $10,000 when Samoa defeated Tonga, as the same arrangement had been in place to ship the losing side out. They provisionally reserve travel so that teams have the chance to depart promptly, and as a result, have to hedge their bets on who will win.
There was already controversy earlier in the World Cup, with Jamaica bristling at the idea that they could not defeat Lebanon and thus help Ireland to advance.
The Australian-based contingent on the Irish team, including Roosters star Luke Keary, were booked to depart the UK the day after Jamaica v Lebanon, which would have been vital for their qualification chances.
Let Jared loose on Australia, say teammates
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves should be unleashed on Australia this weekend despite his ongoing disciplinary issues, according to his front-row parter Joseph Tapine.
“He’s huge, and what he brings to camp you can’t make up for it,” said the Raiders prop. “He’s a seasoned veteran and goes after people. He’s not afraid, he knows how he plays and I like playing with people like that.”
JWH missed the first two games of the World Cup as he served a suspension from the Roosters’ final NRL game of the season, and immediately got himself banned again after a high tackle on Ireland’s Dan Norman.
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Nevertheless, his teammates insist that he brings an extra dimension to their pack.
“This is my fifth tour and on paper this is the best forward pack,” said Jordan Rapana.
“(Jared) is an enforcer and gets our go-forward going. He never takes a step backwards and we’ve got a great forward pack and when we get that go-forward we are hard to handle.”
Samoa appeal Paulo ban
Samoa are set to appeal the one match suspension handed down to captain Junior Paulo, with a hearing due for this evening (UK time) that could free him to play in the weekend’s semi-final against England.
Paulo was banned for striking with his elbow in Samoa’s victory over Tonga at Warrington, and currently will miss their first ever World Cup semi.
Lee Radford, one of Samoa’s backroom staff, told PA that he hoped for a resolution similar to that of England star Morgan Knowles, who was reprieved late in the Super League season and allowed to feature in the Grand Final despite having previously been suspended.
“It’s got huge implications,” said Radford. “Junior has been fantastic. He’s a genuine leader of men and to have him out there is important.
“Like the Morgan Knowles scenario in the grand final, you want your best players playing in the big games, no matter which team you support, so hopefully that decision goes the right way.”
Source by www.theroar.com.au