2018 International Rugby: Italy vs New Zealand Preview

A rugby player fends off a tackle

Italy face a wounded All Blacks team at the Stadio Olimpico on the 24th of November. 

Italy vs New Zealand
Saturday 24 November
Stadio Olimpico

To Win (80 mins)
Italy 15/1
Draw 30/1
New Zealand N/A

Handicap *
Italy (+25) 9/10
New Zealand (-25) 9/10 

*Expected handicap

Italy have won only two of their last ten matches and those victories were against Japan and Georgia. The Italians are fresh from a 26-7 loss to Australia. It's worth keeping in mind that they started pretty well against the Wallabies and had an early try chalked off for offside.

Italy finally scored shortly after the first half. But Italy couldn't contain the Australian's running rugby and leaked four tries. Despite shading territory and possession in the second half, the Europeans had very little to show for their statistical domination.

The All Blacks were left stunned after a strong showing from Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on 17 November. In a match they didn't score a single try, the All Blacks' famous attack was smothered by a very well organised Emerald rush defence.

While both teams are fresh form losses, it's New Zealand who are huge favourites going into this match. Their running style of rugby will too hot to handle for the Italians, and I see Steven Hansen giving the fringe players a run on for this Test.

In what will be Italy's most challenging task for the year, you can expect New Zealand to score over 30 points.

The two sides have played 13 times - with New Zealand dominating the fixture all throughout history, with their highest winning margin 101 - 3 at the 1999 World Cup.

Verdict: New Zealand (-25) 9/10 *Expected handicap
The average margin score for New Zealand has been 52 points, so we can a similar scoreline but I'll be going for the 25 points or more. 

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