Rugby League Match-Up – GB v Tonga
The British Lions Rugby League squad embarks on its first trip overseas when taking on Tonga in a hotly anticipated match at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday 26 October. A number of major television stations around the world offer live coverage of the play and bettors can also view a live streaming service with many major bookmakers.
This match is the beginning of the Lions first series of matches since 2007 when they got the better of New Zealand during a tour of the country. It has been a long time coming and fans have been crying out for a return to action for quite some time now, so a bumper audience is expected to be in attendance with many more following the live TV coverage.
GB Embarks on a Four-Match Series
Four matches make up this series for the Lions with GB v Tonga followed by New Zealand at Eden Park on 2 November. The same two teams renew rivalries on 9 November at Rugby League Park in Christchurch before we round things off with a match against Papa New Guinea on 16 November at PNG Football Stadium, Port Moresby.
The squad has been announced and major bookmakers have drawn up their betting list which makes for interesting reading. There are many markets available, giving armchair fans the chance to spice up their viewing with a bet on the outcome. Get your rugby betting strategies ready and back your predictions with hard cash. You will have the opportunity to mark the occasion with a profit.
GB is favourites to beat Tonga, as was expected, but tougher tests await and things should be more competitive when they renew rivalries with New Zealand. The latter believe they have a point to prove this autumn and will be out to do just that, laying down an early marker.
Chance to Cement a Starting Slot
The Tonga match gives many in the GB squad a chance to cement their starting position and earn a slot against New Zealand in round two and three of the series. That should ensure all players handed a position on the field from the first whistle will be fighting tooth and nail to hold onto it.
There will be a side note to this match that gives it an extra edge as Team GB features a number of English players who were prominent in the recent Rugby League World Cup. England recorded an emphatic and memorable win over Tonga in the semi-finals of that competition, meaning there will be a flood of Tongan fans packing the stands and demanding their players take aim at revenge. Will they cheer home a win over the Lions that would go some way to healing old wounds? That remains to be seen but it will be great fun finding out, that’s for sure.
Off-Field Politics Threatened this Match
Last month the Tongan National Rugby League RLIF membership was suspended and that threw this match into doubt. In order to ensure the game went ahead, it will now be a meeting of the Lions and a Tongan Invitational XIII, at least on paper anyway. It is unlikely the team that takes to the field for this match for Tonga will be too different from the strongest side available.
For this reason, the match has come in for much criticism and has even been labelled a rebel game by some sections of the world press, other critics refuse to recognise it as a Test Match, but that won’t make any difference and when the first whistle sounds it will be down to the players to put on a spectacle and entertain the fans. Politics will be left at the door.
Great Britain Lions Confirmed Squad
The 24-man Great Britain Lions squad for this series of matches is as follows…
James Graham (captain)
Some of the betting options you can expect on this fixture are match winner and a number of eye-catching specials. These include handicap, first try scorer, half time/full time, total points, draw no bet, last try scorer, anytime try scorer, half time, handicap no draw, to score a hat-trick, winning margin and plenty more besides. Pick the bet and price that best suits your needs.