England in must win Four Nations match with New Zealand
England must beat New Zealand by more than 10 points to guarantee themselves a place in the final of the Four Nations. Their opponents are already there, having recorded two wins so far against Australia and Samoa.
Steve McNamara’s side are 7/4 with Coral to win the match, and full back Sam Tomkins is determined to avenge last years’ agonising World Cup semi final defeat in the last minute. “I know that all the players involved were hurting after that game, as you can imagine,” said Tomkins, who plies his trade for New Zealand Warriors.
“We certainly feel like we owe them one for that, with Shaun Johnson getting one over us in the last minute,” he continued. “The Kiwis are a very good side, as we all know, and we are going to have to do a great job to go out and beat them. We are going to give it our best.”
England were denied at least a draw against Australia last time out, when Ryan Hall’s last gasp try was controversially ruled out by the video referee. The Leeds Rhinos winger is 9/1 to cross the whitewash first, though centre and fellow Rhinos star Kallum Watkins is great value at 11/8 to score anytime, having breached the in-goal area two matches in a row.
For New Zealand, Manu Vatuvei could be their best chance, and is 8/1 to break the deadlock, while the world class Johnson has handsome odds of 13/8 to score anytime, having wreaked havoc against Australia.
There is no doubt it will be an enthralling encounter, and for England to win by six to 10 points they are 7/1, which would put them into the final.
New Zealand: P Hiku, J Nightingale, S Kenny-Dowall, D Whare, M Vatuvei; K Foran, S Johnson; J Bromwich, I Luke, A Blair, S Mannering (capt), K Proctor, J Taumalolo
Interchange: T Leuluai, G Eastwood, M Taupau, T Harris
England: S Tomkins; J Charnley, K Watkins, D Sarginson, R Hall; G Widdop, M Smith; G Burgess, J Hodgson, J Graham, L Farrell, J Tomkins, S O’Loughlin (capt)
Interchange: D Clark, B Ferres, T Burgess, C Hill