Group 1: Australia, England, Fiji and Ireland with three to qualify. Australia defeated England but not without a real fight. Fiji accounted for Ireland, consigning the latter to certain elimination. So it transpired with Fiji coming third to go through.
Group 2: New Zealand, Samoa, Papaua New Guinea and France. Favourites NZ overcame Samoa in an entertaining match. France fought to defeat PNG in poor conditions by a single point. NZ then eased past the French side and Samoa was far too good for PNG. NZ were too good for PNG and Samoa were thuggish when beating France. Disgraceful Samoan effort.
Group 3: Three teams here and one match shared with Group 4 for each side to give them three matches too. Scotland narrowly upset Tonga in a fantastic game. Scotland then drew with Italy in another fine match before Tonga overcame Italy.
Group 4: The USA defeated the Cook Islands, then Wales too. Wales then lost in an upset result with the Cook Is.
Cross Group Games: Italy defeated a poor Wales side, Tonga just got past the Cook Is and Scotland proved to be the find of the tournament with a fine performance against the USA.
Quarter Finals: NZ ended the gallant Scots run 40-4, Australia brought the USA down to earth with a clinical 62-0 demolishing, England were efficient defeating France 34-6 and Fiji were too good for Samoa 22-4.
Semi Finals: The hosts England were on course to go through but poor finishing and a last gasp NZ try put them out. In the other game, Australia were far too good for Fiji, winning 64-0. After plenty of exciting group game, some of the finals matches had been one sided.
Grand Final: New Zealand's hard semi final prepared them well for the big one. Australia's easy passage could mean that they were less mentally prepared. That's how I saw it but from the kick off, it was clearly not the case. The Kiwis had a poor attitude and the Kangaroos were focused. 34-2 the score, the biggest winning margin in a final ever. England should have been there and would have put up a better showing.
The summary of the series can be seen by clicking here.
The first in the series (1954) can be seen by clicking here.
|2013 HOSTS: ENGLAND - WALES / WINNER: AUSTRALIA|
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 1|
|Gr 3||Gr 4||Gr 3 / 4||PNG||0||-81|