England v New Zealand Rugby League Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Kiwis to take series lead

James Wells 26 Oct 2018
Shaun Johnson

New Zealand begin a three-match series with England when the two sides meet at KCOM Stadium in Hull on Saturday, October 26.

The Kiwis go into the game on the back of beating Australia in a one-off international test and start as marginal favourites to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Match Preview  


After the Kiwis knocked off a new look Australian outfit just two weeks ago, many are sensing blood in the water with New Zealand and England both seeking to take the world champion's throne. 

This looming three test series then serves as the perfect chance to determine who is next in line. 

Each side is down a number of key players, the likes of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Isaac Luke, Nelson Asofa-Solomona are all out of action for the tourists, while the English are missing stalwarts like Sam Burgess and Garreth Widdop. 

Sam Burgess has often overshadowed his younger brothers, but through 2018 the twins Tom and George had a thunderous rebound season, establishing themselves as two of the very best props in the world. 

The Kiwis, however, have already shown their replacement horses have it in them to knock off the world's best. Jesse Bromwich and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves were immense against Australia, and nothing short of the same will suffice up against the Burgess clan. Their platform was fundamental in the likes of Shaun Johnson and Kodi Nikorima being able to put their dancing shoes on and turn in big performances. 

In recent years, the Kiwis have struggled to put forward a pair of top centres, but that issue looks comfortably resolved, particularly with the emergence of gun Joseph Manu. After getting the better of Latrell Mitchell last week, many are anointing Manu as the best young centre in the world. It is in these names where the Kiwis may find they have an edge. 

The battle up front will be a great contest, but the Kiwis have more skill and x-factor in their backs. The match against Australia is going to be of huge benefit to the New Zealanders in this first test, not only for the confidence boost, but as an opportunity to gel and get match-ready against elite competition. The English haven't had that, France doesn't cut it. 

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England v New Zealand Rugby League Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Kiwis to take series lead

New Zealand begin a three-match series with England when the two sides meet at KCOM Stadium in Hull on Saturday, October 26.

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