International Rugby League: Saturday June 23

Papua New Guinea v Fiji

Saturday 23rd June, 4pm AEST

Papua New Guinea are significantly over the odds in head-to-head betting in this clash with Fiji while the line for this one is bordering on insane. Fiji are being priced on the team that made the World Cup semis last year, where they eliminated New Zealand. A ton of key injuries though mean this team is significantly different. PNG also enjoyed a strong World Cup and have the advantage of having most of their team play together in the Queensland Cup, adding just a sprinkling of NRL stars. Papua New Guinea have won four of six Tests all-time against Fiji and have won two of their last three mid-season Tests. The plus is an outstanding play.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Papua New Guinea +13.5

Samoa v Tonga

Saturday 23rd June, 7.10pm AEST

Samoa and Tonga are two Rugby League nations heading in very opposite directions. Samoa were challenging New Zealand but a few years ago but have faded terribly since. A horrible 2017 World Cup campaign culminated in a draw with Scotland. Tonga have risen to become potentially the next power. Following a mutiny against former Kiwi coach David Kidwell, the likes of Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita – elite players at the peak of their careers – defected to Tonga. It saw the team go on a dream run at the World Cup, defeating the Kiwis and nearly rolling England in a classic World Cup semi. Tonga go in with a fierce line up. Samoa have won three of the last five internationals between them but the best guide came in the last World Cup where Tonga won with ease. With a significantly better roster, the minus is the play.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Tonga -14.5

England v New Zealand

Sunday 24th June, 06:10am AEST

England should be closer to a double digit favourite than a pick ‘em for the Denver Test against New Zealand. The preparations of each side could not have been more different. England have picked their strongest line-up and seem to have been ready for this for months under the stewardship of Wayne Bennett. Michael Maguire has been in the New Zealand job less than a month and has had to endure a host of withdrawals including stars Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. England have clearly leapfrogged New Zealand since Bennett took the role, seen fairly starkly at last year’s World Cup. England have won 10 of their last 15 Tests, including 6 of their last 8 outside the UK. New Zealand have won just 2 of their last 9 Tests against Tier 1 nations. England are wonderful value at anything north of $1.40.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – England -1.5

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