Back Australia to win the Rugby League Four Nations final against New Zealand by 1-12 points
November 17, 2016
Recommended bet: Australian Winning Margin, 1–12 points @ 7/4 (2.75) with Sportsbet
The Four Nations Final at Anfield will, as was widely anticipated at the outset of the tournament, see Australia and New Zealand go head-to head for the title.
What is far more of a shock is that New Zealand owe their place in the final to the Kangaroos, with Australia’s 36-18 victory over England in the final group match ensuring that the Kiwis made it through at the Lions expense.
The Kiwis were reliant on Australian help after they were held to a humiliating 18-18 draw by Scotland in their final group match. In holding New Zealand, Scotland became the first ‘fourth nation’ to score a championship point in the history of the tournament.
The fact that Australia beat England was certainly no great surprise, with Sunday’s win being their 11th consecutive victory over them dating way back to 1995. What was noticeable was that they did so relatively comfortably. They also saw off Scotland 54-12 in their opening Four Nations encounter, which again contrasts significantly with the Kiwis struggles.
The formbook at the Four Nations over the past month clearly favours Australia. Whilst they’ve won all three of their games with relative comfort, New Zealand’s only win came when they narrowly edged out England 17-16 at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield. Three hugely competitive games may well have taken quite a bit out of the Kiwis going into the final.
Mal Meninga’s Kangaroos are also unbeaten in 2016, a run that includes three wins over New Zealand. In addition to their 14-8 Four Nations victory at the beginning of November, they also beat the Kiwis 16-0 at the Newcastle International Sports Centre in May and then 26-6 at the nib Stadium in Perth in mid-October.
It’s worth noting that New Zealand are the defending Four Nations champions, having beaten Australia 22-18 at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington two years ago. They won’t give up their trophy without a fight.
Even so, everything points to the Kangaroos having too much for the Kiwis here and from a rugby betting perspective it looks to be a case of finding the margin of victory. An Australia win by 1-12 points at odds of 7/4 looks a reasonable bet.