Rugby Union | England v New Zealand | Preview and Odds

England take on New Zealand for this first time in four years at Twickenham tomorrow, and 12 months ago it was billed as the warm up to the World Cup Final.

England have suffered numerous setbacks since then, and the Red Rose has wilted. The All Blacks aura took a hit after a surprise loss to South Africa in the Rugby Championship, and England displayed the grittiness needed to win at the highest level in their tight contest against the Springboks last week at HQ.

Our rugby expert guides you through the best bets for what should be a real litmus test for Eddie Jones’ side.

Tough challenge for England

England enter off the back of a brutal test, highlighted by Owen Farrell’s controversial collision with Andre Esterhuizen to seal the game for England. They are large underdogs for such as high-profile test, and are 4/1 with

If England can keep there discipline, a result could be there for the taking, but in recent games under Jones that has been a real issue, and even last week Maro Itoje received a sin-binning.

England’s best hope is to control the game, play narrow and keep possession, whilst keeping the score board ticking over.

To win by 12 points or less Jones’ men are 9/2, which is the most likely outcome if they are to win. Teams just don’t rout the All Blacks.

All Blacks to avoid repeat of 2012?

The All Blacks come into town having lost just twice in their last 20 tests, and haven’t lost to England since 2012. With an incredibly dynamic and settled squad, the All Blacks are the team to beat in next year’s World Cup.

As with almost any New Zealand game, the AB’s enter as comfortable favourites, and can be backed at 2/11,  and 10/11 with the handicap at -14 points.

New Zealand are renowned for applying pressure at crucial times, and nearly always score just as the first half ends, and then blow teams away in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

If they get their way with England, it could become messy very early, and New Zealand are 3/5 to score first and win in the second half.

The AB’s love attacking from deep, and nobody has been more prolific at crossing the whitewash for them in recent years than Rieko Ioane. Coming out of nowhere on the Lions tour, he has not stopped scoring since, and is 8/1 to score first, and 7/10 to score anytime.

Complete performance required from England

England have to play a complete game to beat the All Blacks, which is a real testament to the strength of the AB’s. However, strange things can happen at Twickenham with the crowd loud and proud behind England, and I am tipping England to win at 4/1. And what a more poetic way to win it than Chris Ashton, 8/1 to score last, Ash Splashing under the posts to bring back the feelgood factor into English rugby.





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