England are top of Group A and qualify for the quarter-finals of the Rugby League World Cup; Shaun Wane’s side take on Papua New Guinea on Saturday afternoon at the DW Stadium in Wigan; Australia take on Lebanon, New Zealand take on Fiji and Tonga take on Samoa in the other quarter-final
Last Update: 01/11/22 09:51
Adrian Morley expects more fireworks from Victor Radley to help England through the World Cup knockout stages.
Sydney-born Radley had a big impact on his introduction to Test Match rugby league, helping his adopted England to three big wins that set up a quarter-final encounter with Papua New Guinea in Wigan Saturday.
Morley, one of four new inductees into the prestigious Rugby Football League Hall of Fame, is related to tough man Radley, who plays with the same uncompromising style.
Morley played with distinction for Leeds and Warrington but also made a name for himself as an ‘enforcer’ during the six seasons he spent with the Sydney Roosters from 2001.
“I’m a big Victor fan and he’s been great,” Morley said. “In the game against Samoa he picked the bigger guys and said, ‘Okay, that’s what you get the whole game’ and he stuck to it.
“I obviously have a strong affection for the Sydney Roosters and he’s a Bondi boy.
“I love the way he plays the game and if he had played for another club I would have always thought he was the man but, coming from the Roosters, that makes him very special to me.”
Morley, the most capped England international, was not surprised by England’s progress in the last eight.
“I thought they would do well,” Morley said. “People were saying that first game was a banana peel, but I expected England to win, although I probably didn’t expect this scoreline (60-6).
“Samoa were underrated but England have just minded their business. Their performances have been great and I hope they can continue to build and do something in this World Cup.”
Young helps England beat Greece in 17 tries
Dom Young ran in four tries as England secured top spot in Group A with a resounding 94-4 win over Greece in Sheffield.
Morley’s pre-tournament confidence in England’s ability to cope without St Helens star rower Alex Walmsley was vindicated, but he was also impressed with the quality of the outside backs, who were given a boost by the arrival of Herbie Farnworth and Dom Young from the NRL.
“In my opinion England – or Great Britain – have always done well in forwards and it’s probably the outside backs that have been the chink in the armour,” Morley said.
“But it’s really great to see England outside backs really flying, especially the Australian boys who have come.
“They were outstanding and scored exciting tries, supported by the England boys, (Jack) Welsby and the team.
“The NRL boys have been great, but let’s not minimize the role of the Super League guys.
“They probably had a 20-minute period where they slacked off against France, but they were still worthy of winning and, if they keep improving, there’s no reason why they can’t. not go all the way and win.”
Australia, who face Lebanon in the first quarter-final at Huddersfield on Friday, are legitimate favourites, according to Morley, who says it’s a three-horse race despite the heavyweights’ rise to power Pacific Tonga and Samoa, who would stand in the way of England in the semi-finals.
“Australia will always be the favourites, although New Zealand have a decent team on paper,” he said. “These three are the suitors.
“England are doing very well in general and they have the means to get to the final. And then it’s only 80 minutes against Australia or New Zealand. I’m sure they can get a result against anyone.
“It will take a monumental effort in the final but, when you have 60,000 fans screaming at you, anything can happen.”