This weekend Australia will be facing New Zealand in the most anticipated matchup of the Rugby League World Cup so far.
Not only are both nations brimming with talent but the stakes will be high in this clash that sees the winner progress to the final of the tournament and the losers sent home after making it so far.
Apparently the World Cup organisers have decided who they believe will be moving on from this clash as The Daily Telegraph’s Brent Read is reporting that the tournament’s power brokers have already booked New Zealand’s flights home after the game.
“News Corp understands that to ensure the World Cup had enough flights pre-booked, organisers were forced to predict how they thought the tournament would pan out and reserve flights accordingly,” said Read.
“They safely forecast that Australia and New Zealand would play in one semi-final, but that’s where things get interesting.
“Forced to choose a winner between the Kangaroos and Kiwis, they plumped for lower-ranked Australia and reserved flights for New Zealand in the 24 hours after Saturday morning’s (AEDT) game, to be played at Elland Road.”
New Zealand now have an added reason to prove the doubters wrong and cause an upset as they look to win their second World Cup.
Australian hooker Harry Grant has spoken to The Daily Telegraph ahead of the big clash and how his friendship with many of the Kiwis players will not impact his or his teammate’s performance.
From halfway around the world, the eyes of Australian and Kiwi rugby league fans will turn to Elland Road in Leeds on Saturday morning (AEDT) for a World Cup semi-final nine years in the making.https://t.co/pUChq0uMGY
— Gallagher Australian Kangaroos (@Kangaroos) November 7, 2022
“Everyone is mates and you talk during the tournament.,” Grant said.
“But when you pull on the green and gold jersey you know who you are playing for – you are playing for Australia.”
Grant has a history of making a big impact in representative games having had a breakout performance on debut for Queensland in the 2020 State of Origin series.
This game is made all the more interesting by the fact that if the Kangaroos do fall at this hurdle against their arch-rivals then it will mark the first time they have missed a World Cup final since 1954.
However, if they win then they will have the chance to win the tournament for an 11th time.