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New Zealand v Tonga rugby league tips & top odds – June 25, 2022

New Zealand vs Tonga rugby league tips

New Zealand vs Tonga Betting Odds & Game Info
Best odds NZ $1.28 at Ladbrokes | Tonga $3.85 at BetOnline
When Saturday, June 25 | 5:20pm NZST (3:20pm AEST)
Where Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Last time they met New Zealand 34–14 Tonga (June 22, 2019)
Watch live Nine, Fox Sports, Kayo

International rugby league will make its long-awaited return when New Zealand play host to Mate Ma’a Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland this Saturday.

An early evening kick-off in the Shaky Isles will have the entire Pasifika region on the edge of their seats as both teams look to stake their claims at a genuine push for a Rugby League World Cup title later in the year.

The emergence of Tonga and Samoa in the years before the coronavirus pandemic was thought to have an enormous effect on the future of the New Zealand Test team. Seeing a team that has Joseph Tapine, James Fisher-Harris and Jesse Bromwich suggests they can still field a side that can match the muscle up front with any team in the world. With Joseph Manu, Jahrome Hughes and Dylan Brown in the backline, they have more than enough creative players to take advantage of the platform that they could be afforded.

The $1.28 price in the head-to-head market could be down to a number of factors. Tonga coach Kristian Woolf won’t make the trip from the UK for the Test and will leave the coaching duties to Dean Young. The other is there’s been no Test football in almost three years and the lack of experienced halves in the Tongan squad. New Zealand with Hughes and Brown could put forward an argument they have as good a combination as any Australian team that can be picked, and that extra class they provide is going to provide more attacking chances than Tonga can.

The last time international rugby league was played, Tonga defeated Australia 16-12 in the biggest upset in history. The forward pack of Jason Taumalolo, Addin Fonua-Blake, Haumole Olakau’atu and Keaon Koloamatagi is going to cause New Zealand some problems but can a halves combination of Isaiya Katoa and Talatau Amone going to be enough to apply any kind of scoreboard pressure.

Katoa has signed for the Dolphins for 2023 and he is one player all fans will have a keen eye, but can he rise to such a big challenge during his first steps into the spotlight? Will the Tongans play the two youngsters in the halves, or will they shift Kotoni Staggs to six to have more experience in an arena that demands it?

Their final line-up has a few question marks around it and whether they have the right answers in the make-up of the key positions shapes as the biggest hinderance to win this game. In every position outside of the spine they will feel as though they are just as good as, if not better than, New Zealand.


Key matchup: Joseph Tapine vs Jason Taumalolo

It’s a big-man battle for the ages when Jason Taumalolo leads his Tongan pack against Joseph Tapine. Tapine has been the best prop this year in the NRL and Taumalolo goes to another level when he dons the red of Tonga. What more could footy fans want?


New Zealand vs Tonga best bets

New Zealand win by 12 points in a physical contest. Tonga will match the fire but they don’t have the class in the key positions. Jahrome Hughes will be the man of the match.

New Zealand by 1-12 points

$3
@
BetOnline

New Zealand vs Tonga same-game multi

New Zealand 1-12 with Joseph Manu and Kotoni Staggs to both score a try adds up to $27.70 odds with Neds.

NZ 1-12 / Manu try / Staggs try

$27.70
@
Neds

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