Women’s World Cup Final: Australia vs New Zealand
An absolutely iconic matchup between the two premium and superior sides in this code of rugby with this being the 6th World Cup and the 4th matchup in the final between the two sides. The Jillaroos are the reigning champions but are behind in overall titles having won twice to the Kiwi Ferns’ three times. This game is set to be the highest-ever attended game of women’s rugby league in the Northern hemisphere and these sides are deserving of that viewership because they truly are the elite of the elite.
Having been placed in the same group as each other, they have already played once this tournament and that game ended up being a 10-8 victory for the Aussies. All that separated the sides was the conversions and it’s clearly something that caught the Australians out. They had headed into the match as 1/40 favourites and had a 26-point head start on the handicap due to their sheer dominance in their opening two matches. They had beaten France and the Cook Islands with an aggregate score of 166-0 hence their short price, however the Kiwi Ferns matched them physically and were able to capitalise on sloppy mistakes. Since then the Jillaroos were able to rest 7 players against Papua New Guinea in the semi-finals and yet they still ran out as 82-0 victors.
By contrast New Zealand were required to be at their best to defeat hosts England 20-6 having gone behind in only the 5th minute. Further reason to support the Aussies would be that they are unbeaten since 2017, which comprises a 12-game winning run, with some down under previously requesting they join the rugby union leagues to be given a decent game. Their last defeat was to New Zealand but that’s been avenged 5 times including only 9 days ago at the York Community Stadium. Given their rested players and the fact they know which weaknesses to address to correct the struggles of their last matchup I fully expect the Aussies to make good on their handicap of 14 points, and I actually forecast them to run away with this.
It’s hard to understate the ease with which they won in their semi whilst resting key players, whereas New Zealand competed in a draining atmosphere against the well supported hosts and that adrenaline probably cost England at times as opposed to Kiwi dominance.
My prediction: Australia 44-10 New Zealand
Men’s World Cup Final: Australia vs Samoa
The Australia double looks very safe as the men are priced even shorter than their opposite sex at a shocking 1/12 which is unheard of in any sporting final, never mind one on the world stage. A 20-point handicap line has also been set and it’s easy to see why Australia are such heavy favourites. The team ranked 4th in the world have been on a tear this tournament led by winger Josh Addo-Carr and his 12 tries. He’ll look to surpass the record for most tries in one World Cup, set by his teammate Valentine Holmes in 2017, and is priced at only 4/7 to score a try. In their semi-final against the Kiwis he scored the try of the tournament leaping above and beyond the Kiwi winger to claim a high kick and ground the ball in a play that was more reminiscent of something you would see in the NFL, one of the most popular sports in America. He’s priced at just 6/4 to score a brace and 11/2 to score a hat-trick but I think the value actually lies in the man of the match market where he’s been priced at 13/2 which sits him 4th in the betting. However, if he is to perform well enough to win man of the match, he’ll have certainly had to score 2 or more therefore I think taking the 13/2 MotM market (which we could still land with only one try if it proves to be the winner/part of a brilliant performance) is the clear bet.
The Roos are unbeaten at this tournament with their semi-final being the only game remotely close having won their first 4 games by an aggregate score of 240-18. Meanwhile Samoa have already lost once in this tournament putting in a sloppy performance as they lost 60-6 in their opener against hosts England, who they then went on to beat in the semi-final via golden point 27-26. They also secured their quarter-final victory by only 2 points hence it’s clear to see why they’re outsiders – they haven’t been anywhere near as dominant as the Aussies but quite simply that’s because they’re on a far inferior level. You could try and make the underdog argument that it’s meant to be given that they’re the first team not called Australia, New Zealand or England/Great Britain to make the final in World Cup history, but that’s the rhetoric that the television pundits will give you. Instead, I’m here to try to work out by how many points the Aussies will win and therefore how we can make money from Samoa’s loss.
As mentioned, I think the handicap line easily covers and I’d be tempted to make a bet that it could well be double that which it was in their last head-to-head as Australia ran out 46-0 winners. For me the minus 28 handicap at 2/1 represents real value. There’s no doubt this Aussie team will still be hurting after the most physically demanding game I’ve ever seen in their victory against New Zealand, however the Samoan’s had to go even deeper in their game as extra-time golden point secured victory. If that wide handicap is off-putting, then the market I think is worth punting instead would be either team to score 40 points or more which is priced at 7/4. Considering the Aussies have averaged 60 points a game to all opposition not named New Zealand I think this is incredible value.
My prediction: Australia 50-14 Samoa