I predict a riot…

The Kaiser Chiefs kick off the long-awaited Rugby League World Cup at St James’ Park in Newcastle on Saturday afternoon. Then it’s the little matter of the tournament hosts England against Samoa in the opener. We’ve previewed the match for you and provided you with two best bets. 

England vs Samoa Tips

England vs Samoa? Surely that’s an easy opener for the hosts right? Wrong! The Samoans come into this match as the slight odds-on favourites to win this one. 

New eligibility rules mean that several high profile NRL players have chosen to represent Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga instead of the usual choice of Australia or New Zealand. This means that Samoan coach Matt Parish now boasts one of the strongest squads in the tournament, including the likes of Brian To’o, Jarome Luai, Stephen Crichton and Josh Papali’i, who all turned down the World Champions to play for Samoa.

England find themselves as the 11/10 outsiders but do have home advantage. Head coach Shaun Wane will likely opt for a mix of experience and youth in their quest to reach the later rounds. The Three Lions are a best priced 16/1 at Betfred to win the World Cup outright and a win here would go a long way to winning the group and an easier draw in the second round.

Rugby League Betting Odds

England to win – 11/10

I’ve got a feeling this is gonna be a really tight match but England looked decent enough when beating Fiji 50-0 in last Friday’s friendly and will have a fervent crowd behind them at St James’ Park. I’m backing them to just hang on against a talented Samoan side and pick up their first win of the tournament.

Dom Young first touchdown scorer – 7/1

One man who excelled in the Fiji win, was a 23-year-old from another Newcastle (Knights), winger Dominic Young. Ex-Huddersfield Giant Young is one of six uncapped players in Wane’s squad and alongside Herbie Farnworth and Victor Radley, is one of a trio of English NRL players. 

Wakefield born Young has scored 18 tries in 26 appearances for the Knights and looks sure to take the wing role in front of veteran Ryan Hall. He scored against Fiji and I’m backing him to do so again here.

Betfred are running our double-delight offer, meaning if Young scored the first try and then goes on to score a second, you will be paid at double the odds.

Bet on the Rugby League World Cup with Betfred here