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Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Ireland could take advantage of tired Welsh legs after break

Wolfhounds to finish encouraging campaign on a high

Tribal dancers perform before the match between Papua New Guinea and Ireland
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Australia v Lebanon
Premier Sports, 9am Saturday
Premier Sports, 5am Sunday
Wales v Ireland
FreeSports & Premier Sports, 7.30am Sunday

Of the European nations who are in action at the 2017 World Cup, Ireland will perhaps be the ones most pleased with their performance.

After an impressive win over a capable Italy outfit in their opener, the Irish were eventually worn down by Papua New Guinea in the dying minutes of last week's clash in Port Moresby.

That loss is likely to put paid to their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals with PNG requiring only a draw against USA - one of the worst sides in the competition - on Sunday morning. Anything other than a convincing win for the 1-1,000 Kumuls will be a huge surprise.

Ireland, meanwhile, round off their campaign against a Wales side who have suffered two crushing defeats and must be extremely short on confidence.

The Wolfhounds are not quite as strong a favourite as Papua New Guinea are against the Tomahawks, but at 1-40 victory looks a formality.

A handicap of 28 points is interesting but Wales have really tired after the break in their two bouts so far so backing the Irish to cut loose in the second half could be a better strategy.

Tournament favourites Australia are unlikely to have any trouble as they finish their group campaign against Lebanon.

Ireland -14 on second-half handicap
2pts Evs Coral, Ladbrokes 

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Wales have really tired after the break in their two bouts
E.W. Terms
Sky bet