Bet Brett touches down in Townsville

Australia Versus New Zealand

Rugby League
Published: 12/10/2012

Australia should cover the 13-and-a-half-point spread in its international rugby league game versus New Zealand but there is a better short-priced wager in one of match exotics.

The Kangaroos have a brilliant record against the Kiwis in one-off Tests. They have not lost to their traditional foes in such a game since 1998 and one has to go back to 1991 for the last time that they lost to their trans-Tasman rivals in a non-tournament match on Australian soil. So there is a lot of history on the side of Tim Sheens and his mighty men.

Then there is the venue for Saturday`s game. Dairy Farmers Stadium is in Townsville, the capital of the unofficial state of North Queensland and a horrible city in which to play a physical sport in any season except winter. The temperature is likely to be in the high 20s and the humidity, although not as stifling as it will be at Christmas, will be enough to sap everyone`s energy.

Playing in Townsville puts Australia at a huge advantage over New Zealand, particularly because Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney has picked what can only be described a big-bopper pack of forwards and another four big blokes on the bench.

New Zealand may be able to match it up front with the Kangaroos for the first 20 minutes of each half but the hosts will probably run over the top of them in the 21-40 and 61-80 periods, with chances for Australia`s dangerous ball runners likely to appear during those times.

Instead of betting at odds of around 5-6 that the Kangaroos cover the 13-and-a-half-point spread - it is not much fun to back double-digit favourites and see your bet fail because they ease up in the dying stages - back one of Australia`s quality backs to score a try at any time during the match.

Kangaroos winger Brett Morris is the pick of the betting options at around 8-11. He and his twin brother, Josh, will play on the right side of Australia`s attack and match up against Dean Whare and Gerard Beale of the Kiwis. Neither Whare nor Beale is in the class of a Morris twin and the likelihood is that Kangaroos coach Sheens and his team`s playmakers will pick on New Zealand`s left defence.

On the other side of the field, Greg Inglis has the skill, power and speed to beat Krisnan Inu but the Kiwis have a good club combination over there with Inu paired with his Canterbury colleague, Sam Perrett. So if New Zealand is going to concede tries on the flanks, it is more likely to concede them on the flank defended by Whare and Beale.

Brett Morris is around 10-1 to score the first try and that is every bit as enticing as the 8-11 about him scoring at any time. One could very easily argue that he should be trading at around 8-1 and 8-13 respectively.

The total points line is trading at around 45.5 points. That may be a little on the high side, especially as there is an excellent chance that Kiwis halves Kieran Foran and Benji Marshall will kick the ball out of play regularly to give their team`s forwards a breather in the Townsville heat and humidity. Even Australia may slow down play a little bit if New Zealand`s physicality takes a toll on its troops.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (12/10/2012) but are subject to change.

12/10/2012     © Frixo 2019

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