New Zealand v Great Britain Lions Tips, Predictions and Preview - Kiwis to edge a close one

James Wells 1 Nov 2019
Benji Marshall of the Kiwis (PA Images)

New Zealand and the Great Britain Lions will continue the series of internationals when they meet at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.

Both sides were beaten in last weekend's opening game of the internationals and will be looking to bounce back.

Match Preview


Both of these sides will be eager to make amends after suffering defeats last week. The Kiwis were eradicated by Australia 26-4, while the GB Lions lost  14-6 to Tonga.

A loss to Australia is always expected for the Kiwis, but the fashion of this loss left a lot to be desired. Completing at just 66%, the Kiwis ran for almost 600 fewer metres than the Kangaroos as they shot themselves in the foot with 13 errors and 7 penalties. 

Things weren't much better for Great Britain who, despite being favourites going into the contest, failed to even get on the board until the 69th minute, losing 14-6 to Tonga. 

Plagued by 11 errors, though still fewer than the 12 errors of Tonga, statistically Great Britain were in the contest, but they consistently failed to be able to generate any attack. 

The Kiwis poor performance has led to a big axing, with star half Shaun Johnson being dropped after a dismal performance. Returning in his place is Kieran Foran, tasting international footy again for the first time in two years. 

Foran was once an automatic selection for the Kiwis until injuries, accompanied by a loss of form and off field issues, knocked him down. But he had a resurgence in 2019 with the Bulldogs, albeit still facing injury issues. 

His play was direct, courageous, aggressive, intelligent, all of his typical hallmarks, all things the Kiwis sorely missed last week, and all things Johnson has been criticised for not having. 

The inclusion of Foran has the potential to be a big turnaround for the Kiwis, his more direct approach should free up the likes of Tuivasa-Sheck and Marshall to be much more effective in their attacking exploits. 

Match Odds


New Zealand - $1.44
Great Britain - $2.88

Tips and Predictions


The Lions can certainly stand with the Kiwi forwards, and likely have an edge over them. But in the backs, there's more points in this Kiwi side. 

Unless the Lions can get a real ascendancy, something they failed to do last week, the Kiwis should be able to get enough points on the board to get them home, though likely not in convincing fashion. 


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New Zealand v Great Britain Lions Tips, Predictions and Preview - Kiwis to edge a close one

New Zealand and the Great Britain Lions will continue the series of internationals when they meet at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.

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