Wed, May 4, 9:21pm by Kevin Pitstock
The Annual ANZAC Test is upon us, with both the Kangaroos and Kiwis naming very strong sides. This is a match that the Kiwi’s have struggled to win in past years, with their last victory coming 13 years ago, in 1998 when they beat the Kangaroos 22-16. There was a 3 year hiatus of this fixture from 2001 to 2004, so the Aussies have not won 12 in a row, just 9. If you were looking at these records by themselves you would have to say that the Kangaroos are a certainty to win this match, however it must be noted that the Kiwis not only won the four nations at the end of last year, they are also the reigning World Cup Champions after defeating Australia in the final, 34-20.
|1. Billy Slater||Full Back||1. Lance Hohaia|
|2. Brett Morris||Wing||2. Matthew Duffie|
|3. Greg Inglis||Centre||3. Simon Mannering|
|4. Justin Hodges||Centre||4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall|
|5. Jharal Yow Yeh||Wing||5. Jason Nightingale|
|6. Darren Lockyer ©||Five-Eighth||6. Benji Marshall ©|
|7. Johnathan Thurston||Half Back||7. Kieran Foran|
|8. Petero Civoniceva||Prop||8. Sam Rapira|
|9. Cameron Smith||Hooker||9. Nathan Fien|
|10. Matt Scott||Prop||10. Sam McKendry|
|11. Ben Creagh||Second Row||11. Adam Blair|
|12. Sam Thaiday||Second Row||12. Bronson Harrison|
|13. Paul Gallen||Lock||13. Jeremy Smith|
|14. Cooper Cronk||Reserve||14. Isaac Luke|
|15. Ben Hannant||Reserve||15. Ben Matulino|
|16. Jamal Idris||Reserve||16. Fuifui Moimoi|
|17. Kade Snowden||Reserve||17. Greg Eastwood|
The Kangaroos will be confident in winning this match as they have done so for the last 9 occasions, however I’m sure that last years four nations defeat, as well as the World cup of 2008 will be fresh in mind. Of the 10 times that the Kiwis have been defeated in total, last years was the closes they have ever come, going down by just 4 points in a 12-8 loss. The 7 matches before that the Kangaroos won by an average of over 28 points, which means that it is normally an embarrassing score line.
The Kangaroos have named a team with 13 Queenslanders on the side. This means that it is pretty much an Australian state against a country. If the Aussies can play as good as the Queenslanders have been during Origin (which they should because its pretty much their entire team) they should be able to win this one by a comfortable margin, as is the norm, but with the Kiwis getting the better of us in recent years in other fixtures it could be a lot harder than a lot of us think.
After last year’s four nations win the Kiwis are sticking with a similar line up. There is only one rookie in the team, and that’s winger Matthew Duffie, who has been flying high for the Storm for almost a year now. Duffie is still just a replacement for the injured Vatuvei, who should be coming back soon if injury reports are up to date. All this aside, the Kiwi’s will have a lot more to give than in previous years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they could upset the Aussies on their home turf.
Unlike the Kangaroos, the Warriors have drawn their playing roster from a number of different teams. Of this variety of players a lot of them have been some of the best players in their teams. Kenny-Dowall has been the Roosters best attacking option, Benji Marshall and Keiran Foran have both been the carving it up for their respective teams and leading them to a lot of wins, Nathan Fien has been very good for the Dragons and Jeremy Smith is in the top 3 players in the Sharks line up (with the 2 other players taking the field for Australia).
The Kangaroos are heavy favourites in this one, however a lot of this can be credited to Australia’s commanding victories in the past. The Gap between these two has definitely shortened over recent years, and Australia will have to put in 100% if they want to be confident in winning this one. I’m going the Aussies for 1-12.
The Kangaroos are only paying $1.23 for the H2H victory though Centrebet, which makes this bet not so attractive. This is good for the margin though, as the Kiwis are paying $1.92 with a +12.5 start, also through Centrebet. If you are going to have a crack at 1-12 for the Aussies it is paying $3.25 through Sportsbet Australia.
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