Australia vs. England
MATCH UP STATS
Australia vs. England
Outright oddsAustralia: $1.22 at LadbrokesEngland: $9 at CrownBet
WHAT better way to open the 2017 Rugby League World Cup than with a blockbuster bout between two of the sport’s greatest rivals?
It should surprise nobody that Australia will step out in Melbourne on Friday night as roaring favourites to claim an 11th title.
Even without Johnathan Thurston, who announced his retirement from representative football earlier this year, the Kangaroos are paying a mere $1.22 in the outright market at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Melbourne Storm premiership heroes Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith headline a team sheet that reads as a veritable who’s who of State of Origin stars.
Queensland reps Will Chambers, Dane Gagai, Valentine Holmes and Michael Morgan are also in the starting 13, as are NSW regulars Boyd Cordner, Josh Dugan, David Klemmer and Aaron Woods.
— Robert Baird (@rj_baird) October 25, 2017
England boast a few big names of their own, including NRL stars James Graham, Gareth Widdop, Josh Hodgson and two of South Sydney’s three Burgess brothers.
The biggest threat of all is Leeds Rhinos legend Ryan Hall, who holds the national tryscoring record with 32 from as many caps.
At the helm is Wayne Bennett – a man who knows a thing or two about Australian rugby league.
The Brisbane Broncos boss told reporters this week that limiting costly errors would be the key to reversing England’s recent misfortunes against the Roos.
“The thing for us will be whether, when we get put under pressure, we make unforced errors which we did last time we played Australia,” Bennett said.
“There’s nothing else we have to fear. We can match them in so many areas but we just have to make sure we don’t put ourselves under pressure.
“We do really good things, but then all of a sudden we go back to the British game.”
#RLWC2017 starts this week 😄
Hands up if you can’t wait for Friday ✋️ pic.twitter.com/Dt98ozciuu
— England Rugby League (@England_RL) October 23, 2017
England narrowly missed out on a home final at the last RLWC, losing a close encounter with New Zealand in the semis.
Sam Burgess was part of the squad in 2013, and he believes the current crop is much better prepared than last time around.
“The mood is great. The boys are relaxed,” the Rabbitohs star told UK media.
“We’ve trained extremely hard and prepared very well so we’re looking forward to what’s going to be a great start to the World Cup.
“It will be a physical game against Australia and we are more than ready.”
England hold the third line of Rugby League World Cup betting at CrownBet.com.au with a $9 quote.
Billy Slater, Dane Gagai, Will Chambers, Josh Dugan, Valentine Holmes, Michael Morgan, Cooper Cronk, Aaron Woods, Cameron Smith (c), David Klemmer, Boyd Cordner, Matt Gillett, Jake Trbojevic.
Interchange: Wade Graham, Jordan McLean, Josh McGuire, Tyson Frizell.
Reserves: Regan Campbell-Gillard, Ben Hunt, Tom Trbojevic, Felise Kaufusi.
Jonny Lomax, Jermaine McGillvary, Kallum Watkins, John Bateman, Ryan Hall, Gareth Widdop, Luke Gale, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, James Graham, Sam Burgess, Elliott Whitehead, Sean O’Loughlin (c).
Interchange: Alex Walmsley, Chris Heighington, Thomas Burgess, James Roby.
Reserves: Ben Currie, Kevin Brown, Mark Percival, Scott Taylor.
First tryscorer betting tips
Dane Gagai – $9 with Ladbrokes Odds Boost
Although he played predominately at fullback for the Newcastle Knights this season, Gagai is a huge threat whenever he lines up on the wing. He showed that with his series-turning performances for the Maroons in Origin 2017, for which he won the Wally Lewis Medal.
Ryan Hall – $20 at Sportsbet
Who else? The Rhinos flanker is a scoring machine who has notched a try a game for England over a glittering 10-year career. If the Three Lions are any chance of knocking off their arch nemeses, you can bet this guy will be in on the action. Also consider Sportsbet’s $3.10 quote for Hall to cross at any time.
Rugby League World Cup bet specials
- $2.50 double at Ladbrokes for Billy Slater to score a try and Australia to win
- $2.60 special at Neds for Australia to win by 20 points or more
- $15 double at Ladbrokes for Ryan Hall to score a try and England to win
Australia vs. England match prediction
England boast plenty of talented players, but their own coach has highlighted the difference in intensity between Australian rugby league and the British game. With so many stars on the park, the Kangaroos will be very, very hard to beat. Get on the hosts to win it by a big margin.
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