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Blues In View: RLWC Week 3

Matt Buxton (Twitter: @MattBuxton22)

The Fiji Bati take on the Italian Azzuri in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. Image: NRL Photos.
The Fiji Bati take on the Italian Azzuri in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. Image: NRL Photos.

The final week of the pool stages in the Rugby League World Cup once again saw NSW-eligible players shine on the international stage.

Australian coach Mal Meninga was thoroughly impressed by second-game superstar Tom Trbojevic, who he described as arguably Australia’s best player in an unfamiliar position of right-centre.

David Klemmer and Aaron Woods walked away from their match against Lebanon on report for a shoulder charge and a dangerous tackle respectively, however both were cleared and are free to play next week.

Tonga’s win over New Zealand was one of the biggest moments in the history of international Rugby League, and Will Hopoate played a big role with an important try.

Andrew Fifita also stepped up for the Tongans with 128 metres and 33 tackles, in a game that saw a tier-two nation topple a tier-one country for the first time.

The much-anticipated battle between Jarryd Hayne and James Tedesco was won by the former despite spending some time in the sin bin.

Tedesco wasn’t in his usual fullback position, and while he showed flashes of brilliance with his crafty kicking game, his destructive ball running from the back was sorely missed.

Mason Cerruto started what was one of the tries of the tournament for Italy, but it wasn’t enough to match Fiji who has scored the most points of the tournament. 

RLWC Round 3 Results

Fiji 38 (S Vunivalu 3, K Naiqama, H Raiwalui, B Wiliame, Montoya tries; A Koroisau 3, T Milne 2 goals) def Italy 10 (J Mantellato, N Milone tries; J Mantellato goal) at Canberra Stadium. Crowd: 6733. 

Toa Samoa 14 (J Paulo, M Wright, Y Tonumaipea tries; M Wright goal) drew Scotland 14 (L Tierney, F Mariano tries; D Addy 3 goals) at Barlow Park, Cairns. Crowd: 4309.

Tonga 28 (D Fusitu'a 3, T Lolohea, W Hopoate tries; S Taukeiaho 3, T Lolohea 1 goal) def New Zealand 22 (R Tuivasa-Sheck 2, D Watene-Zelezniak, J Rapana tries; S  Johnson 3 goals) at Waikato Stadium. Crowd: 24,041.

Australia 34 (C Munster 2, J Maloney, B Cordner, D Gagai, T Trbojevic tries; J Maloney 4, C Smith goals) def Lebanon 0 at Sydney Football Stadium. Crowd: 21,127.

Papua New Guinea 64 (J Olam 3, L Lam 2, J Segeyaro, R Griffin, S Amean, D Mead, W Boas, N Macdonald tries; R Martin 10 goals) def United States of America 0 at Oil Search National Football Stadium, Port Moresby. Crowd: 14,800.

Ireland 34 (O Roberts 2, A Pewhairangi, J Philbin, L Finn, L Kay tries; L Finn 5 goals) def Wales 6 (B Morris try; C Davies goal) at Perth Rectangular Stadium.

England 36 (J McGillvary 2, G Widdop, S Ratchford, J Graham, M Percival, J Bateman tries; Widdop 4 goals) def France 6 (B Garcia try; L Albert ≥goal) at Perth Stadium. Crowd: 14,744.