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England vs New Zealand - Kiwi backline to be the difference against England

Kiwi Joseph Manu to continue his stellar 2018 form against England
England vs New Zealand Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips
New Zealand to continue form surge in First Test against England (Getty Images)

England vs New Zealand Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


New Zealand are favourites to claim a win this weekend when they clash with England in a three Test series this weekend at KCOM Stadium in Hull. New Zealand are fresh off a surprise win over the Kangaroos and boast one of the most exciting backlines in the international game.

England 

England are 2.10 outsiders in their first Test of the Autumn season and will be missing stalwarts Sam Burgess and Gareth Widdop. The home side won their last clash with New Zealand in June 36-18 and will be confident of repeating the dose in the First Test.

England coach Wayne Bennet is expected to name Johnny Lomax at fullback, with Sam Tomkins tipped to take his place in the halves. 

England are more than equipped to match the Kiwi forward pack. George and Tom Burgess, James Graham, while Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson will be a threat from dummy half. 

England face a Kiwi side that is battle hardened and may struggle to contain a backline that put the Kangaroos to the sword.

Sam Burgess is set to miss the First Test against New Zealand (Getty Images)

New Zealand

The Kiwis put the horrors of their World Cup exit behind them with a 26-24 win over the Kangaroos in Auckland, less than two weeks ago. Injuries to Dally M Medallist Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Isaac Luke and Nelson Asofa-Solomona saw Michael Maguire blood a number of promising stars.
  
Rookie Joseph Manu scored a try and was able to keep Roosters teammate Latrell Mitchell quiet, in a standout performance for the Kiwis.  

Manu has scored four tries in his last five matches, including a try on his international debut. The Roosters centre has been in outstanding form over the NRL Finals series and will prove a handful for the home side on the right edge of the ruck.
Head-to-Head

England have clashed with New Zealand 15 times with the Kiwis leading the head to head stakes eight wins to England’s six victories and one draw. England claimed a 36-18 win when these two sides last met in a Test Match in the US in June 2018. 

Match-Up

New Zealand were electric against the Kangaroos in an upset 26-24 win at home, less than. Kiwi centre Joseph Manu cemented his place as the best young centre in the NRL with a try and a stand-out defensive performance on Latrell Mitchell. 

If Shaun Johnson and Kodi Nikorima can exploit the space around the middle of the ruck then there will be plenty of try scoring opportunities for New Zealand’s electric backline.  

Key Statistics

  • England have lost 3 of their last 6 matches against New Zealand.
  • New Zealand last 5 wins over England have been decided by 14 points or less.
  • New Zealand centre Joseph Manu has scored 4 tries in his last 5 matches (All Competitions).
Verdict 

New Zealand showed that injuries to their key stars counted for little with an upset victory against the Kangaroos less than two weeks ago. 

Roosters centre Joseph Manu continued his stellar form against Latrell Mitchell and I’m tipping him to wreak havoc against England. New Zealand’s unpredictability across the backline should see them edge out the home side in the First Test. 

Best Bet: New Zealand 1-12 points @ 2.88 4 - Units
Value Bet: Joseph Manu Anytime Tryscorer 2 - Units
First Tryscorer Bet: Joseph Manu 1 - Unit 
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