Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals: New Zealand v England Preview

Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals: New Zealand v England Preview

Beauden Barrett with Richie Mo’unga of New Zealand (All Blacks) after his try during the New Zealand and Ireland Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final at the Tokyo Stadium, Nishimachi,

New Zealand will be looking to advance to their fourth straight final when they take on a solid English side on Saturday the 26th of October.

The All Blacks and the English will square off at the International Stadium Yokohoma in the first of this weekend's World Cup semi-finals. Both teams head into this one off the back of mighty quarter-final displays, and we should be in for an absolute cracker this Saturday.

Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sport - Hollywoodbets 

New Zealand v England
Saturday 26 October
International Stadium Yokohama

To Win (80 Mins)
New Zealand 7/20
Draw 28/1

England 22/10


New Zealand (-6.5) 9/10
England (+6.5) 9/10

New Zealand
Steven Hansen's men put in the best shift of their campaign last weekend as they crushed Ireland 46-14. The All Blacks were at their attacking best against Joe Schmidt's men, scoring some great width-of-the-field tries. They were also able to roll up their sleeves at set-piece with a number of their tries being created through a solid lineout maul or a good platform from the base of the scrum.

England will be an entirely different beast at setpiece time, however, as Eddie Jones' side possess a formidable engine room. As such, Hansen's charges are unlikely to have free roam at the scrum or the lineout, which means they will need to be extremely clinical when chances present themselves. They will also need the Barrett-Mounga axis to fire on all cylinders as their centres are likely to be shut down in record time.

Eddie Jones' men were just as solid as their counterparts as they registered a 40-16 victory in their quarter-final clash against the Australians.

While they were made to work hard for their win over the Wallabies - they only pulled away from their opponents during the final 20 minutes of the fixture - the manner in which they stuck to their gameplan and then executed during the final quarter of the game was rather impressive.

As noted earlier, the English possess a powerful forward pack who should be able to stand up against their opposite numbers at set-piece time. Their back three has also been impressive on the counter.

It will be rather interesting to see if Jones' moves Owen Farell back to inside centre and reinstates George Ford as fly-half. While Farell-Tuialangi pairing worked a treat last weekend, it may be more susceptible to an All Blacks midfield defence that is far more adaptable.

Stats That Matter
- The two sides have met 41 times with England winning seven fixtures, New Zealand 33 and one draw occurring. 

-England last beat the All Blacks back in 2012 with the game, which was played a Twickenham, ending 38-21 in favour of the hosts. 

-The sides have only met at a neutral venue once with New Zealand running out 45-29 victors at the 1995 World Cup. 

-Two of the last three games have been one by one point while three of the last four have been decided fewer than three points. 

- Despite having 66 caps, this will be All Black staple Sam Cane's first clash with the English.

Verdict: England (+6.5) 9/10
This should be a very tight affair if the recent record between the two sides is anything to go by. I expect the All Blacks to win it by no more than five points. 

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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