On the couch

Weekend Herald - - Your Sporting Weekend - Women’s fi­nal 6.30pm. Men’s fi­nal 9.30pm.

Most New Zealand in­ter­est in the first of tonight’s two Rugby League World Cup fi­nals is on the Kiwi Ferns, who take on Aus­tralia. Led by ram­pag­ing try- scorer Honey Hireme, the Ferns have swept all be­fore them, in­clud­ing a 52- 4 semi­fi­nal romp over Eng­land. The Jil­la­roos have been equally im­pres­sive and go into the Sun­corp Sta­dium fi­nale un­de­feated in 2017, hav­ing beaten New Zealand in May’s An­zac test. Aus­tralia beat Canada 58- 6 in their semi­fi­nal. The Ferns are chas­ing a fourth ti­tle af­ter vic­to­ries in 2000 ( in­au­gu­ral), 2005 and 2008. They lost 22- 12 to Aus­tralia in the 2013 fi­nal. The men’s de­cider has an air of in­evitabil­ity about it. The book­ies see it that way: Aus­tralia are at $ 1.12, Eng­land $ 6.70. Who would bet against Billy Slater, in his last test of an amaz­ing ca­reer, and the green and gold ma­chine? Sit back and en­joy the last two games of a long sea­son.

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