Friday, May 6 from 7.50pm at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales. Watch on 9.
A BATTLE for rugby league supremacy is set to take place at Newcastle’s Hunter Stadium on Friday night as the number one-ranked team in the world, New Zealand, travel across the Tasman to face the Aussies.
The Kangaroos can reclaim the top billing in rugby league’s world rankings if they are to win on Friday night, and despite going in as the $1.18 favourites at Sportsbet.com.au to win, the Kiwis are looking to make it four consecutive wins over their much more-fancied opponents.
Reigning Dally M medallist, Johnathan Thurston, believes the Australians will have their work cut out for them on Friday.
“They’re the number one-ranked nation in league, so yeah we are the underdogs,” Thurston said.
“We’ve got a lot of hard work in front of us to change that.
“It’s something I know the boys are looking forward to, that challenge and getting that number one ranking back, but we know the Kiwis deserve to be where they are.”
The bookies are not anticipating much of a contest at Hunters Stadium, so we have had a look at the try-scorer markets and picked out four of our favourite bets for Friday night.
Best Australian try-scorer betting options
It has been a big week for Parramatta off the field this week, but we are expecting one of their shining lights to shrug off those concerns to make a big impact for the Aussies.
The Fijian product pledged his rugby allegiance to Australia – a move that many questioned ahead of Friday’s test – but the winger insisted the move was motivated by a desire to become the best for his adopted nation.
Cam Smith said in the build up to Friday that Radradra is the ‘best winger in the competition’, and we anticipate the 23-year-old will be looking to step up on the big stage and make an early impact.
Radradra to score the first try on Friday night’s test is our best bet of the night.
First try scorer: Semi Radradra $6.50 @ Sportsbet.com.au
How can you go past one of the world’s best players?
The man they call ‘JT’ has been playing up to his already astronomically high standards so far this season, scoring one try and assisting a league high 13 tries in 2016.
The Kangaroos have a number of offensive threats both in a scoring sense and a playmaking sense, meaning the reliance on Thurston to make a big play to pull his side across the line will not be as burdensome.
The 33-year-old has also been at his most prolific in a try scoring capacity at the national level compared to any other format, crossing the try line every two and a half games he plays in the Australian jersey.
The price on JT to score a try is far too good to ignore and at these odds we have to recommend the reigning Dally M medallist as the bet anytime try scorer bet.
Anytime try scorer: Johnathan Thurston $3.20 @ Sportsbet.com.au
Best New Zealand try-scorer betting options
We are expecting a fourth gamer to step up on the big stage for the Kiwis.
Kahu has been a revelation for the Broncos this season, scoring seven tries this season for the league leaders.
The 25-year-old also has experience crossing the line first for the Brisbane after he opened the scoring in the first match of the season against the Eels at Parramatta Stadium.
If New Zealand are to cause an upset against the highly fancied Aussies Kahu will need to make a big impact, and we believe he is the Kiwis’ best option to score the first try on Friday night.
First try scorer: Jordan Kahu $15.00 @ Sportsbet.com.au
It has been a difficult season on the field for the Tricolours so far, but their Kiwi forward Shaun Kenny-Dowall has not let his teammates’ woes bring down his production on the field.
Kenny-Dowall has scored four tries this season for the second last placed Roosters, the second most productive try scoring player in the line up.
The hulking 28-year-old has a sensational record at the representative level too, scoring an impressive nine tries from his 17 appearances.
Kenny-Dowall has experienced a great try scoring rate across his career, crossing the line with regularity that belies the position he plays on the field.
We are finding it hard to ignore the man they call ‘Skids’ at the price he is at to score a try against the Aussies, and he is our favourite New Zealand bet for the evening.
Anytime try scorer: Shaun Kenny-Dowall $2.70 @ Sportsbet.com.au
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