One of the oldest rivalries in Rugby League plays itself out in the first semi final with Anzac rivals Australia and New Zealand squaring off for a spot in the final but this looks to be a one-sided affair.
Australia may have thought themselves a little stiff to have to run into New Zealand in the semi-final when they are clearly the best team in the world pre-tournament but seeing how the Kiwis have fumbled their way through this World Cup they will have little concern.
The Kangaroos are not only better than the Kiwis – they are significantly better. The coaching edge is massive with Michael Hagan (the actual brains of the Australian operation) significantly more astute than Michael Maguire. The spine provides a clean sweep for Australia with Tedesco, Munster and Grant clearly the best at their positions worldwide while Cleary edges Hughes. The gap in the three-quarter line is immense with none of the Kiwis even edging past the reserve Kangaroos outside backs. The Kangaroos edges of Murray, Crichton and Martin are clearly better on both sides of the ball. Prop is probably the only position New Zealand get a push with.
This World Cup tells plenty. Australia are 2-2 against the spread with Fiji running closest in a 42-8 win. The Kangaroos have conceded just 18 points in four matches. New Zealand are 0-4 ATS and beat Fiji by just six and Lebanon by just 22, the two common opponents. The Kiwis conceded 18 to Fiji and have allowed 44 points.
Australia have won three of the last four against New Zealand by 18-plus and will win this by plenty more than 12.5.
Same Game Multi
Latrell Mitchell has 56 tries in 73 games at centre and has crossed in his last six when in the three-quarter line.
Josh Addo-Carr is having a stunning World Cup with 11 tries in three games including five in the quarter-final against Lebanon.
Angus Crichton has been in tremendous tryscoring form. He scored six times in his final eight NRL games and has scored in two of three World Cup games as well as in the PM’s XIII clash.