Friday 17th November 2017

Event of the day

Our event of the day 

is the first quarter-final match of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup between Australia and Samoa at the Darwin Stadium in Darwin. Australia’s coach Mal Meninga rotated his squad for the group stage fixtures, but that didn’t affect their results at all, as the Kangaroos won all three of their games comfortably - against England, France and Lebanon, respectively - and qualified for the knock-out phase conceding only 10 points in the process.
Samoa however, reached the quarter-finals after bettering Scotland on points difference and finishing third in group B. The 14-14 draw against the same opponent proved enough to stay in the competition after suffering heavy defeats to New Zealand and Tonga. Clearly underdogs in this duel, the Samoans must draw some inspiration from Tonga’s last round unexpected 28-22 win over New Zealand which was a signal that teams from the Pacific Nations can upset the favourites. They’ve also received a big boost by the return to fitness of their key player and captain Frank Pritchard, as well as talented halfback Ben Roberts. Still, this time they face a full-strength Australian team, after a number of players that were rested last week. Michael Morgan returns to the five-eight position, Josh McGuire stays in the starting line-up and Reagan Campbell-Gillard who impressed against Lebanon, takes the final spot on the bench. The winner of this quarter-final match will face the victor from the New Zealand against Fiji duel that is scheduled for Saturday. Extremely hot temperatures await the players in Darwin - hopefully Samoa can put on a strong performance and challenge Australia.
Honourable mentions 
around the globe go to the 26th Rally Australia, the season-ending event of the 2017 World Rally Championship. Sébastien Ogier clinched his fifth consecutive title at the last rally in Wales and the first in a car of the M-Sport World Rally Team. Now the attention is focused on the fight for the vice-champion title between Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville and Ogier’s teammate Ott Tänak. Australia Women and England Women play the first Twenty20 of the CommBank Women’s Ashes 2017 at the North Sydney Oval in Sydney. VfB Stuttgart welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, as the German Bundesliga returns to action after the international break. The final day of the group stage of tennis’ 2017 Nitto ATP Finals at the O2 Arena brings the match between Grigor Dimitrov and Pablo Carreño Busta, and the clash of Dominic Thiem and David Goffin, in which only the winner will go to the semi-finals. In the NBA, the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Pelicans meet at the Pepsi Center in Denver. In the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets host the New York Rangers at the Nationwide Arena.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by RLWC 2017

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