Australia v Samoa: Rugby League World Cup final – live

Key events

Josh Addo-Carr of Australia is the leading try-scorer in the tournament, with 12.

The closest man on the opposing side is Tim Lafai, who has crossed the whitewash six times before today.

Is Matt Parish surprised Samoa are in the final? “No. We’ve believed from day one … we’ve improved every week, and we’ll need to improve again today.

“We’ve prepared really well this week … we know we’ve got an enormous job ahead but we’re looking forward to it.”

Mal Meninga, the Australia coach, speaks to the BBC: “Everyone’s fit and healthy … we’re in fine spirits at the moment … the semi-final helped us as a pressure game, to help us make better decisions … our prep’s been excellent, yeah, looking forward to today’s game.

“Pressure’s part of playing in finals footy. They’ll feel pressure too, they’ll want to come out and play their best game.”

Aaron Bower’s preview:

If you are in and around Old Trafford on Saturday and can smell something familiar in the air, it’s probably the lingering scent of Australian dominance. As the sun sets on another Rugby League World Cup, it does so in utterly recognisable fashion: only this time there is not one, but two Australian sides looking to cement their status as the world’s best in their respective finals.

The Australia full-back, Sam Bremner, gives her reaction to the BBC: “Oh my god … Joy but relief … we’ve been thinking about this exact moment for so long, some of us nine years, some of us five years … I can’t believe we’re currently in that moment, just taking it all in. Just so overwhelmed with happiness and relief.”

Bremner takes a moment, overcome with emotion, before continuing:

“I’ve been in this team since I was a teenager … I’m now almost 31, it’s shaped me, it shapes all of us to be really good humans … good footballers but best of all good humans, and when we play a World Cup it’s our chance to say thank you for all the values that this team instills in you … these tears are happy.”

Brilliant interview.

Australia’s Sam Bremner (centre), Kezie Apps (left) and Ali Brigginshaw celebrate. Photograph: Tim Goode/PA

Aaron Bower is our man on the scene in Manchester:

Australia’s Jillaroos sauntered to a third consecutive Women’s Rugby League World Cup courtesy of a commanding, one-sided victory over New Zealand’s Kiwi Ferns. The two sides delivered the game of the tournament in the group stage, with Australia edging their opponents 10-8 to finish top of Group B.

The presentations for the women’s World Cup are ongoing. The Jillaroos squad and back room staff just formed a victorious circle and had a bit of a sing-song. Now they get their hands on their winners’ medals, not to mention the trophy.

Women’s World Cup final result: Australia 54-4 New Zealand

The Jillaroos are champions. Aaron Bower’s report will be coming up.


No one would have predicted Samoa going deep in this competition after a 60-6 demolition at the hands of England in their opening match. Very few people expected them to emerge victorious last week, against the same opposition, in a dramatic semi-final at the Emirates Stadium. But, thanks to Stephen Crichton’s extra-time, golden-point drop-goal, they earned themselves a shot at glory at Old Trafford today.

So why shouldn’t they go one better, having reached their first final, and win the whole thing? Because, the realists among you will point out, Australia are aiming for their third straight tournament victory and their 12th overall. Technically they haven’t even missed a final since 1957 (the final of the inaugural event, in 1954, was contested by Great Britain and France).

So the odds are stacked against Samoa and the Kangaroos supporters, many of whom will be up at all hours of the night, will understandably be feeling confident. Do today’s official underdogs have more than a puncher’s chance? Team news and more coming up.

Kick-off: 4pm UK time

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