The English are at $3.30 (Head to head) and $4.35 (12 points or less) at the TAB. Here’s Five reasons you should put your hard earned dosh on the Red Rose of England this weekend.
The Twickenham Factor
Forget about what you have read in the press – the English want this game and they want it badly. This is all about setting Twickenham up as a proverbial fortress in the lead-up to next year’s RWC in the same way Eden Park acted for New Zealand in 2011. The English aren’t stupid and they aren’t arrogant. Coach Stuart Lancaster is shrewdly setting about picking apart the key parts of New Zealand’s recent success and using them for himself. Expect the All Black Haka to be drowned out by fervent singing and an all-out English assault in the first 20 minutes.
Cruden was well off target in Chicago and it won’t get any easier this week. The first one is crucial and with no back up in the run on squad it is a huge area of risk. Forget about fancy, back handed off-loads and funny handshakes – goal-kicking is what wins test matches.
Yes SBW. A sixty minute romp against the USA on top of a couple of cameos in the ITM Cup is not ideal preparation for this kind of match. A lack of kicking game in the New Zealand midfield looms as a big weakness in what is expected to be a game won and lost on territory.
Look closely and you will see that New Zealand haven’t been that flash this year off-shore. Aside from a romp in South America, a draw and a near loss to Australia added to a real loss versus South Africa has been the lot of the All Blacks away from New Zealand in 2014.
The Super Rugby Season started on the 21st February 261 days ago with almost half the All Black team playing in the opening Chiefs vs Crusaders fixture. Last week showed some of the first signs of the team wilting through injury. On the converse, the English team are peaking nicely in the middle of their season.