Samoa -32 Handicap v Scotland

Rugby league - World Cup - 11 Nov 07:00

Scotland have been shocking at the World Cup so far, I was expecting them to do quite well based on their performances at the last major tournament, however it seems like they've regressed. They lost the opening game 50-4 against Tonga and lost the last game 74-6 against New Zealand. I see no signs of things improving either as it looks like the players aren't interested if the latest off the pitch incident is anything to go by.

Scotland have just sent 3 players home, apparently they were drinking on a flight to the venue of this game and they got out of control. The players to be sent home were captain Danny Brough, Sam Brooks and Johnny Walker. I can't stress enough how huge the loss of Danny Brough is, not only is he the captain, he's their best player and the playmaker, he's a massive loss and Scotland could get taken for a walk again without him.

Those 3 players were all involved in the last game which means 3 new players come into the squad for this game. It's actually a complete reshuffle too, a further 4 players have had to switch positions. In total that's 7 changes either in personal or positional changes. Given how they've been spanked in both games so far I don't see how they keep within 32 points of Samoa here as it will be like starting from scratch with a weakened side.

Samoa have lost both games too, however the score lines were much more respectable, losing 32-18 to Tonga and 38-8 to New Zealand. Those score lines don't do them justice either, they've been very competitive in both games. As a team unit they will be tight, playing almost the same squad for the third game running, they also have the far better individuals.

The winner of this game takes 3rd spot in Group B and progresses to the next round, obviously it's a really important game and there's no time for Samoa to mess around, they will go all out for 80 minutes here to cement that 3rd place spot with authority. The line is 34 across the board so 32 gives us a small edge, personally with the team news I have the line at 44 points anyway so 32 is now looking very good.

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