In our betting week in review, England got off to a winning start in the Rugby League World Cup. The 2017 beaten finalists defeated third-placed Samoa 60-6. In the Premier League, Liverpool defeated champions Manchester City in a must-win game.
England annihilates Samoa in the World Cup opener
The Rugby League World Cup kicked off this weekend, a year after it was delayed due to the Covid pandemic. The tournament has been relocated to England, with the hosts taking on highly favored Samoa at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park.
It was a perfect afternoon for Shaun Wane’s men, who thrashed Samoa 60-6, with Dom Young and Tommy Makinson inspiring the Red and Whites.
Welsby, Young (2), Watkins, Farnworth, Whitehead (2), Makinson, Williams, and Burgess all scored tries with Samoa’s only points, defying expectations that this would be a difficult opener for England.
As we discussed in our blog post, punters who backed Samoa to win the World Cup with a winning margin of +50 points would have seen a healthy return.
After only six minutes, England was awarded a penalty for obstruction, which Makinson converted to make it 2-0. Samoa, on the other hand, made things difficult for themselves around the quarter-hour mark when Captain Milford challenged the referee’s call on a knock-on. However, his appeal was denied, which meant Samoa would be unable to challenge the referee for the remainder of the game.
Welsby’s try on 22 minutes made it 6-0, and Makinson’s conversion made it eight. Young drives through the Samoan side to score another try, which Makinson again covers.
At the half-hour mark, England increased its lead to 18-0 when Welsby passed the ball to 21-year-old Young, who dived over the line after another Samoan error, but Makinson failed to convert.
With six minutes left in the half, Samoa scored their first game points. Tago intercepted Welsby’s pass and scored the try. Crichton converted, making the halftime score 18-6.
Despite Samoa’s strong finish to the first half, the second half was all about England. Watkins scored on 49 minutes, Makinson converted, and when Milford was sin-binned on 63 minutes for a late tackle on Thomas, it was all over.
Farnworth (65), Whitehead (69, 71), Makinson (74), Williams (77), and Burgess (80) all scored tries, and with Makinson converting the majority of them, the final score of 60-6 reflected a dominant English performance.
Other World Cup games played over the weekend included Australia’s 42-8 victory over Fiji in their first game. New Zealand, the second-favorite at bet365, easily defeated Lebanon 34-12 in their opener. While the fortunes of Ireland and Scotland differed. The Irish defeated Jamaica 48-2, while Scotland was defeated by Italy 4-28.
France will be England’s next opponent on Saturday. The French open their Rugby League World Cup campaign against Greece tonight (19:30 UK time), with a win priced at 1/25. Wales kicks off their campaign against the Cook Islands on Wednesday. When the two teams last met in the 2013 World Cup, the Cook Islands won 28-24.
Premier League: Klopp Issues Protest Against City
Last week’s betting week in review highlighted the lack of Premier League draws, which benefited punters. This weekend’s results were much more mixed, favoring operators.
Bookmakers will be pleased with the draws between Leicester and Crystal Palace, Fulham and Bournemouth, Southampton and West Ham, and the popular betting fixture between Manchester United and Newcastle.
The hosts defeated the champions 1-0 in the weekend’s big game between Liverpool and Manchester City. City were 89/100 favourites, but Liverpool (141/50) won thanks to a Mohamed Salah goal on 78 minutes.
In other results, Arsenal moved four points clear with a 1-0 win over Leeds. Brentford won 2-0 at home against Brighton to get back on track. Wolves defeated Nottingham Forest 1-0, while Tottenham defeated Everton 2-0. Chelsea is fourth after a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa.
Because Premier League games are taking place this week, we will preview some of them in our blog section later in the week.
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