Australia vs New Zealand Rugby League Test Preview

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The Wollongong Showground plays host to the Aussies and Kiwis on Friday night as the Kangaroos seek revenge for last year’s Trans-Tasman Test loss in Auckland.

New Zealand proved too good for Tonga last week in their 34-14 victory, while the Aussies have enjoyed an extra week off prior to their opening game.

It’s always a fiery encounter when these two sides get together, and although the market firmly favours the green and gold, we’ve still found plenty of value in our Australia vs New Zealand Preview below.

Head to Head Betting

These two sides have split their last two games one win apiece as New Zealand got the better of Australia with a nail-biting 26-24-win last year.

The Kangaroos trumped the Kiwis with a blowout 30-12 victory in 2017, and typically speaking, Australia tends to save their best for New Zealand.

In their last five meetings, the Aussies have outscored their rivals from across the ditch 126-60. That explains the bookies setting a 10.5-point line for Friday nights game, but when you take a look at the team lists, there’s every reason to believe this game could be closer.

Australia’s backline looks strong with James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell in the fold, but there’s plenty of strength in the Kiwi lineup in the form of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Ken Maumalo.

Elsewhere, Cameron Munster’s battle against Shaun Johnson should provide plenty of drama. Munter hasn’t played since the Storm lost to the Roosters in the Prelims, while Johnson was outstanding last week in the World Cup 9s.

Friday will also mark a first the first time Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans have played together in Australian colours. The pair will be relied on heavily in this game, especially with Johnson posing a serious try-scoring threat.

Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has his team humming along nicely right now with New Zealand putting up 30-points in their last two games. With that in mind, back the Kiwis to keep this close.

Tip: Back New Zealand to Cover the Line (+10.5 Points) @ $1.90

Total Points

The last three games between Australia and New Zealand have all resulted in 42-points or more. The bookies have set a 42.5-point line for Friday’s game, but it still feels like this one could be headed Under with two very talented back lines.

Tip: Under 42.5 Total Points

Anytime Try Scorer

Shaun Johnson was a one-man wrecking ball at the World Cup 9s last weekend scoring a pair of tries and also having an involvement helping teammates over the line. Things won’t come quite so easy this week, but Johnson poses plenty of problems to the Australian backline with a handful of well-rested stars around him.

Friday will also mark Josh Addo-Carr’s representative debut as he hopes to cap off a very impressive year both at club and Origin level. Carr is the favourite to cross the line at any time while Storm teammate Cameron Munster could also pose a problem for New Zealand if the pair strike up some chemistry.

Finally, if you’re looking for a bit of a roughie, don’t sleep on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. The Roosters prop played a big part in the Grand Final win and has enjoyed a few weeks off to prepare for this game. He doesn’t score often, but Waerea-Hargreaves should see plenty of the ball in the forward line.

Tip: Josh Addo-Carr ($1.85), Cameron Munster ($2.80), Shaun Johnson ($3.20), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ($6.50) Anytime Try Scorers

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.