International Rugby League: Saturday October 13th

Saturday 13th October 5.45pm AEST Mt Smart Stadium

The Rugby League international calendar kicks off this weekend when Australia and New Zealand square off at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland. The Kangaroos are in a season of transition following the representative retirements of Cam Smith, Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk and the suspension of Greg Inglis.

Much like NSW this year though, Mal Meninga has at his disposal a young and hungry squad in great form and eager for an opportunity. The likes of James Tedesco, Damien Cook and Latrell Mitchell have all been named to make their debut while the Trbojevic brothers, Valentine Holmes and Tyson Frizell also feature.

The only significant concern for the Kangaroos is the halves with Daly Cherry-Evans and Luke Keary the new partnership. They hold a significant talent edge over the Kiwis side that is missing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Issac Luke.

Since a very good 2015, New Zealand have been downright awful with just three wins in their last 13 Tests with two of those wins coming against Samoa and Scotland. In their first outing under Michael Maguire in Denver midseason, the Kiwis were thumped 36-18 by England. Australia have won all five Tests against New Zealand since Meninga took the reins with only one game closer than 16.

The Kiwis have been held to an average of 6.8 points a Test over that run. Australia should have too much speed and too much organisation.

Bet Recommendation

 BACK – Australia -8.5

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