Rugby League | England v New Zealand 2nd Test | Preview and Odds

The 2nd Test between England and New Zealand takes place this weekend at Anfield, with England in the driving seat after narrowly edging the first test 18-16 featuring an excellent try on debut by Oliver Gildart.

Our Rugby League expert looks at the best bets from what is sure to be a thrilling battle between two of the best teams in the world.

Experienced England

England will be without influential captain Sean O’Loughlin due to a calf injury, and after a surprise win in the first test, their task is now a lot tougher.

England are only 12 months removed from a World Cup Final though, so there is plenty of experience and talent in the fabric of this team, and with a core of Grand Final winning Wigan players, this England side won’t quit, as evidenced last week.

The usual suspects will be expected to stand up and be counted, with John Bateman, Sam Tomkins and James Graham set to be heavily involved, as will the Burgess brothers, who will be tasked with sucking in defenders to create space for the wide men. England are 5/4 to win at Anfield, and 5/1 to win both halves.

New Zealand out for revenge

New Zealand will be raring to bounce back after last week’s disappointing result.

They entered this tour having just beaten the Australians, and were on cloud nine, but after a narrow loss in which the chips just didn’t quite fall, the Kiwis will be looking to get the win and balance the series.

Shaun Johnson was in imperious form, and the fearsome right flank of Joseph Manu and Jordan Rapana will always pose a threat to the English defence. New Zealand are slight favourites at 4/6, and are 7/4 to gain a narrow win by 12 points or less.

The next challenger

It should be a fantastic game, with some of the most exciting players in the world going toe-to-toe against each other.

Realistically, both of these teams are vying to knock off Australia as the Number 1 team in the world, and this will be a good litmus test.

I think it will again be incredibly close, and could even come down to a late drop goal to win it – in which case don’t be surprised if Shaun Johnson can pull it off.

New Zealand will look to come out firing, and are 8/11 to score first. The Kiwis will be really up for the one and I just suspect they’ll have too much quality and an early flurry could take them away from England. New Zealand to win by 1-6 at 7/2 is my pick.





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