Rugby World Cup Pool C: New Zealand to thrash Tonga on Nonu milestone
Ma’a Nonu will earn his 100th New Zealand cap as the All Blacks battle Pacific Island outfit Tonga in their final outing of Rugby World Cup Pool C, and all signs suggest they will wrap up the group with a straightforward win at St James’ Park.
Playing alongside fellow centre Conrad Smith for a record 59th Test, Nonu is 11/10 with Coral to mark this milestone with a try anytime. New Zealand have won all four previous meetings with Tonga, averaging a shade under 70 points per game. For a winning margin of 66-70 points, punters can get a superb 16/1 price.
Although the All Blacks, overwhelmingly odds-on at 1/500 to end Pool D with four victory, are without captain Richie McCaw because of a hip injury, number eight Kieran Read skippers the side in his absence and crossed last time out, so is 6/5 to do so again.
Elite nations have been pretty unreliable when it comes to covering the handicap markets at this Rugby World Cup so far, but it’s set at 42 points here for an even-money return. New Zealand have been ruthless in those previous encounters with Tonga, so should be able to overcome this imaginary deficit to reward punters, while alternatively it’s 3/1 in the 10-point margins betting for the 41-50 bracket.
It’s far from the All Blacks’ first XV, but it doesn’t need to be. Rampant winger Julian Savea, who has five tries at this tournament including a hat-trick against Georgia, is among those rested.
Fellow wide threat Waisake Naholo starts again, however, and grabbed the opening try against Georgia, so is awesome at 11/2 to cross first once more. Down the other wing is Nehe Milner-Skudder, who bagged a brace against Namibia, and is 11/8 for two tries once more or better.
Whoever breaks the deadlock, the first scoring play being a New Zealand penalty is a terrific 13/10. Opponents Tonga are heavily reliant upon Fetu’u Vainikolo (7/2) for a try anytime, but have managed to put just 26 points on the board against the All Blacks previously.
Coral’s top tip: A handsome win for New Zealand is definitely on the cards here, so take that fine 3/1 on the 41-50 points bracket as their winning margin.