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England – New Zealand

England All Blacks world cup betting preview

England and New Zealand will square off on Saturday in a mouthwatering Rugby World Cup semifinal at the International Stadium in Yokohama.

England didn`t have to work too much in the group stages, as they rolled past USA, Tonga, and Argentina (which had a player sent off early), and had the game against France cancelled. There were questions about England maybe not being tested enough before their quarterfinal clash with Australia, but the Red Rose completely brushed those off with a dominant performance. England dismantled Australia 40-16, playing really well all around and showing virtually no weaknesses.

The All Blacks put on a clinic themselves in the quarters with a 46-14 destruction of Ireland, with the match being virtually over by the half hour mark. There are not many new superlatives one can keep throwing at New Zealand anymore. They have been utterly dominant on the world stage since the previous World Cup (with a couple of blips earlier this year), and have hit their best form in this tournament. Their early 23-13 group stage win over South Africa was already an indication of what was to follow, the routine blowouts against Canada and Namibia were just training games, and the demolision of Ireland put everyone on notice that the All Blacks are clicking on all cylinders.

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Team news & lineups:

Both teams will make one change to the starting lineups they fielded in the quarterfinals. George Ford returns at No.10 for England, pushing Farrell to No.12, while New Zealand will bring in Scott Barrett, who leaves Sam Cane on the bench.

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola

New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

New Zealand won the previous 6 H2H meetings with England, and 15 of the last 16. The two teams met only once since the last World Cup, which was quite surprising given that they were rated as the best two sides in the World for most of this timespan. New Zealand won that 16-15 last Autumn at Twickenham.

Both sides have been exquisite in the quarterfinals, but you have to feel New Zealand have been more impressive. Not only was their win a bit more dominant, but they also faced a stronger opponent. They run a strong Irish team ragged, while England faced an Australian side which is in crisis, and which honestly was woeful in this tournament for its standards.

There`s a lot of power in this English outfit, but New Zealand can match it. On the other hand, New Zealand’s attacking pace and versatility can not be defended even by the best of sides, so expect a few moments of magic from the likes of Beauden Barrett to make a big impact – and quite likely to be the difference in the game.

It should be a tightly contested, physical battle, with New Zealand getting over the hump with a couple of quick ruck balls from Aaron Smith followed by a couple of speedy runs, and / or glimpses of brilliance from Beauden Barrett.

Weather should be very good for rugby on Saturday, with under 20% chances of rain and only above average wins. This will be good for the All Blacks, because rainy weather would have been to their disadvantage against a team like England.

In the end, New Zealand has been tested more than England in this tournament and delivered each time against both South Africa and Ireland. With the All Blacks seemingly being at their best, not even a strong English team should be able to beat them – especially since they barely did it one time in the last 16 tries.

The All Blacks already defeated an opponent of the same strength and form like England, I`m talking about South Africa here, and they ought to beat England as well in a good game. It really is their World Cup to lose. The 7 point handicap is tempting, but I`m going to give England the respect they deserve and pick New Zealand to win straight up – but with 10/10 stakes. Odds of ~ 1.40 are good enough for me to not get greedy, and bet the simple victory. Prediction: England – New Zealand 16 – 25.

Pick: New Zealand
Odds: 1.40 @ Unibet
Stake: 10
Possible profit: 4
Event date: 26 October

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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