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Here’s what you might have missed overnight at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.

Australia's Wheelaroos showed plenty of fight in a 84-40 semi-final loss to world champions France, with Brad Grove and Zac Schumacher both grabbing doubles.

After trailing 54-10 at the half-time break the Wheelaroos went try for try with the world champions in the second term, with both sides scoring 30 points.

France will chase a third consecutive World Cup title next weekend against England, who thrashed Wales 125-22 in the second semi-final.

In other overnight news, Samoa have been given an enormous boost heading into their first ever World Cup final with inspirational leader Junior Paulo given a warning for a lifting tackle on Tom Burgess rather than a suspension.

Paulo, who successfully challenged a striking charge after the quater-final defeat of Tonga, was sin-binned for the 13th minute incident but returned to lead Samoa to the biggest win by any Pacific nation after downing England 27-26 in golden point.

Fellow Samoa prop Royce Hunt also received a caution for his involvement in the tackle, while England forward Morgan Knowles received a one-match ban for dangerous contact and John Bateman was cautioned for contrary behaviour.

Hooker Fa'amanu Brown looks set to miss the final after suffering a concussion in a head clash with team-mate Oregon Kaufusi. Under the 11-day stand down rule used in England, Brown would be automatically ruled out of the decider in Manchester.


Report: Bourson brilliant as France book spot in World Cup final

France confirmed their status as the team to beat at this year's Wheelchair World Cup with an 84-40 victory over Australia in the semi-final.

Having scored an incredible 350 points through their three group stage games and conceding just 27, France took just 34 seconds to get the scoring underway against the Wheelaroos and didn't look back — running in 10 first-half tries to two to book their spot in next Saturday's final in Manchester (AEDT).

Having opened the scoring with just their second touch of the ball through Florian Guttadoro's length-of-the-field effort, it was Jeremy Bourson who stole the first half headlines with an incredible five tries after just 26 minutes of play.

His efforts were backed up by Mostefa Abassi, whose four-try haul gave him 16 for the tournament, the most any player has scored at a single World Cup, and Guttadoro, who scored a hat-trick.

After a free-flowing first half, it was a much more determined performance from the Wheelaroos throughout the second 40 minutes with Diab Karim, Liam Luff and Zac Schumacher all finding their way onto the scoresheet.

Brad Grove and Schumacher both finished the match with doubles as Australia fought to the 80th minute against the defending champions.

The Wheelaroos' tally of 40 points (including 30 in the second half) are easily the most France have conceded so far at this World Cup.

Match Highlights: France v Australia



Jack Brown was the star for England with eight tries as the host nation powered its way into the World Cup decider with a 125-22 win over Wales

The leading tryscorer in World Cup history took his tally to 52 and equalled the record for the most tries scored by an individual in a World Cup match as the hosts booked their spot in the final against France.

Jack Brown electric with eight tries

Sebastien Bechara and Joe Coyd scored four tries each for England, who have now scored 388 points across and conceded just 22 across their four matches.

France and England have contested the last two Wheelchair World Cup finals in 2013 and 2017, with the French emerging triumphant on both occasions.

“It was always our plan to get to Manchester and we've ticked every box so far, just one left," said England captain Tom Halliwell.

Hawkins turns on the afterburners

"We pride ourselves on having good people in this team and behind us on the court, and Jack [Brown] is just a great player on and off the court.

"As long as we get over the line it doesn't matter who scores them, it's all about the build-up.

"The two best teams in the world going at each other on Friday, there's no better battle and I think this final is going to take wheelchair rugby league to a whole new level.

"I visualise myself lifting that World Cup trophy every night."

Match Highlights: England v Wales

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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