England get a crack at New Zealand in the end of year rugby internationals at Twickenham on Saturday, the first meeting between the sides since 2014 and the All Blacks start as double digit favourites on the handicap.
England v New Zealand, Saturday 10th November, Twickenham, KO 17:00 (South African time)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant refs: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Weather Forecast – Twickenham
England edged their way home to a 12-11 victory over the Springboks at Twickenham last week. They were on the back foot throughout the first half and were fortunate to go into the break 8-6 down when the deficit should have been far greater. There was a significant improvement in the second half and they edged their way into the lead despite failing to score a try. Right at the end they survived a review for a very kickable penalty after a controversial tackle from Owen Farrell but they call came down on their side.
England’s squad is depleted by a number of injuries but there was no subsequent citing of Farrell who will be available for this game. Going back 12 months they had beaten the Boks 37-21 at the start of the November program and at that time they were arguably clear second favourites for the 2019 RWC. However this year they lost 3 of 5 matches in the Six Nations plus a June tour in South Africa where they went down 2-1 in the series.
After this England will host Japan and they finish the year with a visit from the Wallabies.
The All Blacks line up for last weeks 69-31 victory in Japan comprised largely of fringe players but they still had enough to torpedo market support for Japan on most bookies main handicaps. A week earlier they beat the Wallabies 37-20 in the third Bledisloe Cup match which was also staged in Japan, after which the regular starters moved on to London to begin preparations for this game.
The All Blacks have won 14 and lost 1 of the last 15 head to heads and that defeat came at Twickenham in 2012.
2018 has seen the All Blacks win 10 and lose 1 of their test matches. They completed a clean sweep of France in a home series in June and won 5 of 6 matches on their way to the Rugby Championship title. The one low point this year was losing their long unbeaten home record which was ended by the Springboks who won 36-34 in Wellington.
After this game the All Blacks move on to Dublin for a clash with Ireland they finish the tour against Italy in Rome.
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (cc), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Mark Wilson, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Brad Shields, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dylan Hartley (cc), 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Danny Care, 22 George Ford, 23 Jack Nowell
New Zealand: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tuungafas, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Ryan Crotty
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2014 INT Twickenham England 21-24 New Zealand (Tries 2-3)
2014 INT Hamilton New Zealand 36-13 England (Tries 5-1)
2014 INT Dunedin New Zealand 28-27 England (Tries 3-3)
2014 INT Hamilton New Zealand 20-15 England (Tries 1-0)
2013 INT Twickenham England 22-30 New Zealand (Tries 1-3)
2012 INT Twickenham England 38-21 New Zealand (Tries 3-3)
England +15.5 points at 9/10 BetXchange
New Zealand -12.5 points at 9/10 WSB
Note, odds quoted are an average of what was available at the time of last update but are subject to change.
On last week’s evidence my take on this one is that England will have to improve significantly just to stay within this handicap against an All Blacks side who have had the best part of a fortnight to train their sights on this game.
I doubt England have the guns to stay in range and the minus handicap is the play.
Chris’s Bet: 5 units 1-10 scale New Zealand -12.5 points at 9/10 WSB
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