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World Cup fixture forming

Tuesday 27 March 2012 | Published in Regional


The Cook Islands will most likely play New Zealand in the quarterfinals of the Rugby League World Cup 2013 if they finish atop their table.

A tentative fixture for the World Cup has been released, in which the Cook Islands is grouped with Wales and the United States in pool D of the competition. Just one team from the pool will advance to the competition’s quarter finals, where they will play the winner of pool B, a group that contains New Zealand, France, Papua New Guinea and Samoa. The Cook Islands will find their biggest pool D test in Wales, who are co-hosting the competition with England. Before they play Wales, though, the Kukis will line up against their pool D rivals United States of America and then against pool C team Tonga. The World Cup’s format means that three teams from both pools A and B will advance to the quarter finals, while one each from pools C and D will also do so. If all things go to plan, with Cook Islands and New Zealand winning their pools, the fixtures mean the teams will face off in the quarter final round.

Two games are expected to launch the World Cup next October with organisers taking inspiration from the past for the 2013 competition. Australia and England will play each other at Cardiff in the first match, a meet-up that harks back to the 1995 and 2000 tournaments, which were hosted by the UK and the UK/France respectively.

The English fans will be hoping for a repeat of the 1995 tournament opener, which saw their side beat the Aussies 20-16. Aussies will surely be cheering for a repeat of the 2000 opener where they smashed England 22-2.

The Cook Islands, meanwhile, is still searching for its first World Cup win. Last competing in the World Cup in 2000, the Cook Islands lost its matches against Wales and New Zealand and drew in its match against Lebanon.