RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP - FINAL
Australia v England
This final has all the makings of a fizzer in terms of a competitive game as the Aussies are miles ahead of England in all aspects; they were well below their best in round one but still managed to brush the Poms aside. England were lucky to escape with the win last week after the Tongan surge fell just short; their defence held firm for most of the match but once the Tongans had their tails up the holes appeared and players fell off tackles which is worrying for Wayne Bennett given the Aussies have been savage in capitalising on defensive lapses all tournament.
It starts to sound like a broken record in dishing out the plaudits when talking about the Australian side as they’re stacked full of world class players who are led by the greatest captain the sport has ever seen. On that note this will be Cam Smiths final RLWC appearance, along with a handful of his fellow teammates, and it’s just not in this guy’s DNA to go out anything but a winner which he’ll do here on the ultimate stage for any Queenslander – Suncorp Stadium.
The absence of Josh Hodgson at hooker is going to hurt England badly here as they’ll miss his presence at dummy-half, general ball-playing abilities and leadership around the park.
Whilst the English defence has been very good (36 points conceded in 5 games) the Kangaroos have been sublime (10 points in 5 games) and I’ve not seen enough from England to suggest they’re going to cause the Aussie defensive line much grief as they’re a tad too predictable.
The question here is not if the Aussies will win but rather how many points they’ll win by and I’m leaning towards a very comfortable margin – we’ll back them to cover the start on offer to England. Pick - 4 units on Australia-16.5 point start