England vs Australia World Cup Final Preview


There is a rich history between these two Rugby League giants, it's always going to be a tough game, so imagine just how hard both sides will fight with a World Cup on the line.

England know that a victory against the Australian's is well overdue, it's 22 years since England did manage a win over the Kangaroos. As with everything, all good things come to an end, so is December 2nd, on the largest stage of all, the place where it does come to an end for Australia?

Many people have already delivered their verdict on this game, by general consensus, most have already written off England's chances of World Cup greatness. You honestly can't blame them though, the Australian's have been at their unfaltering best all the way from game 1, destroying everything in their path.

England: England showed just how good they can be last week, they also showed some vulnerability too, for 70 minutes England had not put a foot wrong in the game. Everything was clicking, line moves were making there way to the wingers, forwards were punching holes by running against the grain, it was by far England's most complete performance so far. Of course with the good, we have to talk about the bad too, England pounded on the self-destruct button with 7 minutes to play, I've said it before and I'll say it again, consistency.

England are going to really work their wide men come Saturday, Hall and Mcgilvary have seen plenty of action on the flanks and are sure to see plenty more. England have just one problem, I'm 100% sure that the Aussies have picked up on it too, when England move the ball from right to left, it's a rarity the ball makes it from Bateman to Hall, this isn't down to Bateman being a greedy player, it's simply because he doesn't have the natural fast hands of a centre, Australia will push up on him quickly to keep Hall out of the game. England need to come back up the middle exactly like they did against Tonga, this play style suits Roby down to a tee, I expect to see lots of metres made around the play the ball area.

Australia: The Australian's put in a perfect performance against Fiji, to keep Fiji at 1 try is one thing, but to score 10 against them just shows how much of a complete package this side is, however Holmes will not be given as much space by the England defensive line. The Aussies have only conceded three tries through the course of this tournament, they are yet to let in two tries in a single game, this just goes to show how incredibly sturdy this Australian defensive line is.

Australia are going to come in with the game plan of keeping England's wide men quiet, they are going to kick high and shallow in the middle to test Widdop. By doing this they prevent Mcgilvary and Hall building any momentum coming off their own line and could force an error. Australia are going to utilise their wide-men differently against England than in previous weeks, Holmes and Gagai will hug the touch line for large parts of the game in an effort to create a gap between the England winger and centre, most likely Billy Slater will be the desired recipient of these plays.

Conclusion: This is going to be an out and out war, expect huge collisions and very fast, aggressive defensive lines. I've talked many times about defence winning games, however if England want the win they will have to score 3 maybe 4 tries, let's face it Australia are going to score at some point. England need to compete on the scoreboard, scrap these "moral victories" of low scoring losses. I'm going to to have to let English bias take the reigns on this one, I'm backing England by 4 points to win this one.

Pom

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