New Zealand vs Fiji
The All Blacks will be in confident mood after smashing the hapless Tonga 102-0 in their last match. They have made several changes for this match and are arguably stronger this time around. The Fijians have been thrown in disarray with Covid quarantines affecting the availability of some of their players. This makes an already difficult task almost impossible. The All Blacks have certainly rung the changes for this match and have the Barrett brothers and star lock Brodie Retallick back . Retallick returns after two seasons in Japan and the Fijians will have their hands full trying to contain this powerful NZ team. The Fijians will be physical and let’s hope that this is not a lop sided contest like the All Blacks and Tongan game. The Fijians have the beast of a winger Nemani Nadolo back after he made U-Turn on his retirement from international rugby. We all know that Fiji have always had strength in their backs but the question mark remains if they can match the All Blacks in the forward pack. They do have some players like Leone Nakarawa and Albert Tuisue who have shown that they can more than hold their own in the European competitions. The selection of Beauden Barrett at ten is an interesting one as Coach Foster has made it clear that he regards Richie Mo’unga has his first choice flyhalf. The Two Time World player of the year will be keen to show that he can reclaim his position in this team. Aaron Smith is captaining the All Blacks at his home ground for the first time and will want nothing less than a convincing victory.
TIP: The All Blacks have quality throughout the team with outstanding forwards complimented with dangerous backline players. The selection of Barrett at 10 can be an inspired choice or it could be a poor one. If he can get the backline players like Jordie Barrett and Sevu Reece into the game early then the Fijians could be in for a torrid evening. Fiji have always been blessed with exceptional back line players but will miss arguably the best attacking player in world rugby, Semi Radradra. They do have other big names stars like captain Levani Botia who is great and always a brilliant defender. The All Blacks will do well to avoid his bone crunching tackles. The bookies have New Zealand as certain winners of this contest and I have to agree that it will be a very comfortable All Black win. The best odds on this victory can be found at Worldsportsbetting 1.01, Playabets 1.01 and Sunbet 1.01
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
New Zealand vs Fiji
- There has only been two other meetings between the sides and they were both won by the All Blacks by more than 45 points
Latest results for both teams
NZ won their last match against Tonga 102-0 while the Fijians won their last match against Georgia 38-24.
These two have met twice before and they were huge wins for the All Blacks but I don’t think this will be the case in this match. The Fijians almost never took the forwards side of rugby as serious as it needs to be. They focused on entertain and running the ball with their explosive backs. In recent times they have finally steadied their scrum with decent props like Mesake Doge and Peni Ravai. They will hope to at least get parity in the scrum so that they can unleash their potent backline. The All Blacks have attacking threats everywhere and will be hoping that Barrett and new centre can click early on so that this match can be a try fest from the first whistle. The match is being played under the roof in Dunedin so you can be assured of great running rugby. The All Blacks will be too strong for the Fijians therefore I predict an All Blacks win by 37 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Jordie Barrett 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 George Bridge, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith (c), 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Ethan Blackadder, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower
15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Eroni Sau, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Levani Botia (captain), 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Simione Kuruvoli, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Mesulame Kunavula, 6 Johnny Dyer, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Temo Mayanavanua, 3 Mesake Doge, 2 Samuel Matavesi, 1 Peni Ravai
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the All Blacks victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Fiji handicap:
The complete odds on the Fiji handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+44.5) 1.90
Playabets (+44.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+44.5) 1.90
Predictions and Odds in details
The Fijians hardly get to test their wares against the All Blacks and it’s amazing to think that the two neighbouring nations have only played against each other twice. Those were embarrassing defeats to Fiji and I’m certain they will want to put that right. They may not have the class or quality to beat the All Blacks but will want to make life as tough as possible for them. There will be some great match ups but I’m looking forward to Sevu Reece against Nemani Nadolo. Reece is the younger quicker winger while Nadolo is the powerful and bulldozing type and will look to run over the smaller winger. The Fijians will need to stick to their plan of running rugby as the All Blacks have the advantage amongst the forwards. Having said this they will need to be accurate as any turnover ball and the All Blacks will score. The bookies offer no returns of the All Blacks win therefore I suggest the Fijians on a generous handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: The complete odds on the Fiji handicap: Worldsportsbetting (+44.5) 1.90, Playabets (+44.5) 1.90 and Sunbet (+44.5) 1.90
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.