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Qualifying finals go global - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 02 Nov 2007 17:14:00 GMT
Rugby League fans in Britain New Zealand and Australia will from this weekend be able to watch the final qualifying stages for next year's World Cup in Australia.

Big Pond will break new ground in Australia with live webcasts of the final five qualifying matches on BigPond's League TV at bigpondtv.com/leaguetv including this Saturday's game between Lebanon and Ireland in Dewsbury and Sunday's match between Scotland and Wales in Glasgow.

Britain's Sky Sports is carrying each game live as are New Zealand's Sky Sport, and the Middle East's Showtime.

Just three positions remain to be decided for Rugby League World Cup XIII.

Lebanon would require a win to unseat an impressive Ireland team as the winner of European Group Pool 1, and their form against Russia last Sunday suggests that is not out of the question.

Scotland and Wales are in an even closer battle for supremacy in European Group Pool 2, to the extent that organizers have already declared the right to move to 'extra time golden point' should the pool be tied. Wales needs an eight point win to topple the Scots as 'pool
leaders'.

The winners of each pool will fill two of the final three spots in World Cup XIII to play in Australia from October 25 to November 22.

The losers will enter a repechage along with Samoa and the USA to determine the final berth which will be decided at Featherstone on November 14.

Pacific Island broadcasters have already committed to join the existing broadcast partners to televise the repechage semi-final on Friday, November 9 and the repechage final on Wednesday, 14 November.

"The interest in the qualifying games from broadcasters has been unprecedented and it certainly reflects the intense level of interest that is building around the tournament," Rugby League International Federation Chairman and World Cup Tournament Director, Mr Colin Love AM, said.

"The fact that audiences in England, Australia and New Zealand will be able to see the final qualifiers is a real bonus for the tournament and for Rugby League supporters.

"The inclusion of Big Pond's live webcast is another significant step with Big Pond providing an exciting broadcast platform."

Telstra Big Pond will broadcast the five World Cup qualification matches live on www.bigpondvideo.com/leaguetv

The schedule will be in line be the kick-off of the matches and be transmitted at the same time as the Sky Sports, Samoan, Showtime and Sky Sport (NZ) telecasts.

This schedule is as follows (Times may be subject to change - Please see
your local guides for more information):
Date Match Sky Sports (UK) Telstra Big Pond Sky Sport (NZ) Showtime (Middle East) Lebanon Time Samoa Broadcasting Corporation Fri 2 Nov Lebanon v Ireland 19.30 GMT 06.30 (Saturday 3 November) 08.30 (Saturday 3 November) on SS2 21.30 Match Replay 06.45 - Sat 3 Nov 15.00 - Sat 3 Nov 15.00 - Tue 6 Nov - Sun 4 Nov Scotland v Wales 14.00 GMT 01.00 (Monday 5 November) 03.00 (Monday 5 November) on SS1 16.00 Match Replay 20.00 - Sun 4 Nov 13.30 - Mon 5 Nov 22.30 - Wed 7 Nov Fri 9 Nov USA v Samoa 17.45 GMT 04.45 (Saturday 10 November) 06.45 (Saturday 10 November) on SS1 19.45 Match Replay 00.00 - Fri 10 Nov 06.30 - Sat 10 Nov 17.00 - Sat 10 Nov 06.45 (Friday 9 November) Lebanon or Ireland v Scotland or Wales 20.00 GMT 07.00 (Saturday 10 November) 09.00 (Saturday 10 November) on SS1 22.00 Match Replay 02.00 - Fri 10 Nov 10.00 - Sat 10 Nov 23.00 - Sun 11 Nov - Wed 14 Nov Repechage Final 19.30 GMT 06.30 (Thursday 15 November) 08.30 (Thursday 15 November) on SS1 21.30 Match Replay 01.00 - Wed 14 Nov 08.00 - Thu 15 Nov 16.30 - Thu 15 Nov 06.00 - Fri 16 Nov 08.30 (Wednesday 14 November)
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