The Four Nations So Far
The Four Nations is almost over with the Final being played this Sunday afternoon.
It’s been an exciting but at times disappointing tournament with Australia dominating the proceedings. There has been big wins, even bigger hits, lots of tries, historic results and more in this tournament. We take a look at how the teams performed in the championship ahead of the final showdown this weekend between Australia and New Zealand.
A Disappointing Result for England
A home tournament and with new coach, Wayne Bennett, this years Four Nations was hoped to be a turning point for England. Sadly it wasn’t to be. After narrowly losing to New Zealand (by 1 point) in Round 1, in the end England were only able to register a win against wildcard team, Scotland.
A win against Australia was the only way England would reach the final but sadly it wasn’t to be. An unmethodical performance wasn’t good enough to hold back the in form team of the tournament.
England have an uphill battle ahead of the Rugby League World Cup in 2017 as their performances while showing promise, were never of a standard that would be deserving of a place in the Final. It may be Bennett’s first tournament with the team but fans were expecting more from the maverick coach, much like the instant results seen with the England Union side under Jones.
Loved every single minute with @England_RL lads,gutted we didnt get the result but proud to pull the jersey on again,thanks for the messages
— kevin john brown (@kevjonbrown) November 13, 2016
They’ve learned the hard way that they are not good enough but England have time to improve. With a few tests and a trip to Australia on the cards ahead of the World Cup, this team can come together to put in a more impressive performance on the world stage.
A Learning Experience for Scotland
While Scotland weren’t the team to break the curse on the Qualifying Team in the Four Nations of actually winning a game, they came tantalisingly close and broke the record of actually claiming a point in the tournament through a draw with Finalists New Zealand. As the video above shows, this alone was cause for celebration enough.
Much like the inclusion of Argentina was originally criticised in the Rugby Championship in Union, it’s easy to point to the qualifying spot in the Four Nations as a waste of time. But Scotland’s draw shows that more nations are becoming competitive in League and that the fourth team in this tournament can have an impact on the proceedings. Thanks to the draw, England had more routes to the final but ultimately it didn’t matter.
We’re looking forward to seeing if Scotland can pull off even bigger upsets in the Rugby League World Cup next year.
The Final: Australia v New Zealand
The fiercest rivalry in Rugby League. These teams probably face each other in Finals more often than any other nations in any other popular sport. They met in the Four Nations Final in 2014, with New Zealand winning by four points. But with Australia in the ascendancy and having beaten the Kiwis already in this tournament, the smart money is on the Kangaroos.
Can New Zealand upset the odds and take the title for a 2nd tournament in a row? Who do you think will come out on top in the final? Let us know in the comments below your final score predictions.