Kangaroos favoured over Samoa


DARWIN: It’ll be a case of survival of the fittest when Australia takes on Samoa in Darwin in the first of the World Cup quarterfinals tonight.
The Kangaroos breezed through Pool A with three wins from as many starts, with coach Mal Meninga able to experiment with combinations and bench rotations along the way.
With hot and humid conditions forecast in the Top End, most people expected to see the in-form Cameron Munster included in the squad, however, Meninga has stuck solid with the 17 that took care of England in the tournament opener with Reagan Campbell-Gillard replacing the injured Jake Trbojevic in the only change from that game.
Tipped by many to cause some damage in the World Cup, Samoa have been underwhelming thus far, qualifying for the knockout stage despite not winning a pool game.
‌Why Australia can win: With familiar combinations who know how to slow the ruck, Australia will be out to control Samoa’s big men to prevent any quick shifts to the fringes. If they can win the middle then Cameron Smith and co should run riot as the Samoans tire in the steamy conditions up north.
Why Samoa can win: They’re yet to set the tournament on fire, but you get the feeling Samoa are due for an impressive performance.
The history: Played 2; Australia 2; Samoa 0.
Match officials: Referee: Phil Bentham. Touch judges: Chris Sutton and Belinda Sleeman. Video referee: Ashley Klein.
Televised: Channel Seven – Live Coverage from 7:30pm.
NRL.com predicts: While a forecast of high temperatures and rain might even the playing field, Australia will still find a way to win. Expect Will Chambers to have a field day in his return home as the Kangaroos win by 26. – NRL