22nd October 2018, 14:39 | International

Set of Six: This Week in Rugby League

Set of Six: This Week in Rugby League

Australia beat Tonga in front of partisan crowd

Australia returned to winning way after their defeat by New Zealand with a 34-16 win over Mate Ma’e Tonga in front of a partisan crowd in Auckland. 

The World Cup semi-finalists, playing in their first ever test against the World Champions failed to keep up with the pace of the Australia attack in the first 40, going down 30-10 in the first half. 

They responded with a spirited fightback in the second stanza, with Solomone Kate reducing the deficit to 14 points with half an hour remaining, but the Aussies held firm for the victory. 

Spain and Russia progress in World Cup Qualification

Despite beating Spain 24-20, Serbia miss out on their chance to appear at the 2021 World Cup, with Spain and Russia marching on to the European World Cup playoff. 

The Russian Bears and Spain will now face the bottom two sides in the European Championship, the Euro C Champion and Italy to claim one of the four available spots to the World Cup. 

Des Hasler returns as Manly coach

Des Hasler, the man who led the Manly Sea Eagles to seven successive finals appearances in his eight-year tenure from 2004-11, has returned to the club to coach for 2019. 

Hasler, who also made over 250 appearances for Manly, has returned to coaching a year after leaving Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. 

European Championship kicks off

As England and New Zealand face off this weekend, an important step for European teams on the way to the 2021 World Cup begins with the 2018 European Championship. 

At 2pm, Ireland face Scotland in Santry, while France host Wales in Carcassonne at 6pm on Saturday 27thOctober. 

The winners and runners up will qualify directly for the 2021 World Cup, while the 3rdand 4thplaced teams will face a playoff with the winners of the Euro C final between Greece and Norway, Spain, Russia & Italy for the final four European World Cup spots.

England pay their respects to the fallen on Belgium 

The England team visited Belgium this week, visiting Tyne Cot cemetery and Menin Gate memorial to pay their respects to fallen soldiers. 

The England team will wear a commemorative shirt for their third test against the Kiwis, at Elland Road, with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion. After the trip, coach Wayne Bennett emphasised to the players the importance of representing England.

“I thought the trip was a good exercise. They got plenty out of it and it was good for the players to reflect on themselves and what it means to play for your country” said Bennett. 

French Rugby League unites behind flood victims

The RLIF and French Rugby League Federation (FFRXIII) have united to raise money for victims of the floods that have devastated the Aude region. 

Gate receipts from the France vs Wales men’s game and France vs England women’s game, to be held at Carcassonne, will be donated to victims of flooding. 

“In view of the exceptional nature of seriousness of the events in the Aude region, the total receipts will be donated to the disaster victims of the department” said Marc Palanques, FFRXIII President.