Kangaroos have a chance to eke out a decisive victory. Free rugby league predictions, best wagers, and in-depth analysis for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup semi-final match between Australia and New Zealand.
Where to look for it
- Friday at 7:45 o’clock on BBC Two
- It is expected that Australia will win by 11 to 20 points.
- 1pt 2-1 OKBET
Preview of the match
As was to be expected, the two antipodean rivals Australia and New Zealand will face off against each other at Elland Road on Friday night in the first semi-final of the Rugby League World Cup.
Both teams breezed through the group stage without much trouble, but their performances in the quarterfinals were drastically different from one another.
In Hull, New Zealand had to work hard to get past Fiji, a team that Australia had easily dispatched in their World Cup opener despite the fact that it was the Kangaroos’ first international in almost three years. Australia, on the other hand, were polished and clinical with the ball in hand as they overcame a 40-point handicap to beat Lebanon.
Both of these factions have a rich past. After defeating Australia in the championship game of the Tri-Nations all the way back in 2005, New Zealand went on to defeat the Kangaroos in the championship game of the World Cup in 2008, which was held in Australia. Both of these victories were memorable. However, ever since that turn of events at Suncorp Stadium, Australia has won 17 of their 23 matches, with just one match ending in a draw.
In five of the pair’s most recent seven meetings and 12 of their 17 wins over New Zealand since the 2008 World Cup final, Australia would have defied the 12-point handicap line that was set for Friday’s first semi-final, so taking the Kangaroos on the handicap is tempting.
But a third of their victories in that time came by between 11 and 20 points, and even though they haven’t clicked yet, New Zealand does have NRL quality throughout their side, making that scenario an appealing 2-1 chance despite the fact that they haven’t clicked yet.
It looks like it’s going to be an exciting match, but the Kangaroos’ superior talent and ruthlessness should allow them to punch their ticket to Old Trafford for the following weekend.
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