- New Zealand are seven-point favorites over England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup semifinals
- Both countries are unbeaten in the tournament
- New Zealand is 3-0 against England in previous RWC meetings
Both England and New Zealand advanced to the Rugby World Cup semifinals in impressive fashion and will now meet on Saturday, Oct. 26 (4:00 AM ET) with a finals berth on the line.
England, the 2003 RWC champions, crushed 2015 runners-up Australia 40-16. Meanwhile, the two-time defending champions from New Zealand easily disposed of Ireland 46-14. A year ago, the Irish were the #1-ranked team in the world.
As solid as England’s performance was against Australia, it doesn’t appear to have swayed the bookmakers one bit. New Zealand is the seven-point favorites to dispatch the English in Saturday’s semifinal and move into the final for the third successive tournament.
England vs New Zealand RWC Semifinal Odds
|New Zealand||-7 (-115)||-305||N/A|
Odds taken Oct. 23.
Across the leading sportsbooks, New Zealand remain -130 favorites (on average) in the RWC Championship odds. England average out as the third choice at +450 in the Rugby World Cup futures.
New Zealand Left Irish Eyes Crying
In 2018, Ireland toppled New Zealand 16-9 and had won two of three from the New Zealanders; but on this day, there wasn’t an area on the pitch where the All Blacks didn’t dominate. It was a clinical performance from the reigning world champions.
New Zealand made 13 clean breaks to Ireland’s two. The All Blacks beat 29 defenders, compared to Ireland’s 11. They also made more tackles than Ireland – 138 to 108 – and committed fewer turnovers – nine to Ireland’s 17.
Ireland are now 0-for-7 in RWC quarterfinals. New Zealand remain unbeaten through 18 RWC matches since a 20-18 loss to France in the 2007 RWC quarterfinals.
New Zealand holds the number one spot in the World Rugby Rankings. They've won the World Cup three times; 2015, 2011 and 1987. They've scored 203 point in this #RWC19, with the highest being against Namibia. Do you think they have what it takes to beat England? #RWC19 #ENGvNZL pic.twitter.com/HHvkQumTW4
— MSC Rising Sun (@MSCRisingSun) October 23, 2019
New Zealand has won its last three matches in this tournament by a combined margin of 180-23.
England Coming Up Roses
Since their Group Stage match against France was canceled by Typhoon Hagibis, England’s first real test of the RWC was against the Aussies, and the English passed with flying colors.
England manager Eddie Jones lost to the English in the 2003 RWC final as manager of Australia, but his Aussies also beat New Zealand 22-10 in the semifinals that year to get to the ultimate match against England.
Can Jones engineer another such upset?
He was sharply criticized for introducing veteran Owen Farrell back into the side at fly half for the quarterfinal match with Australia. George Ford had arguably been England’s best player in the group stage.
But Jones looked like a genius when Farrell scored 20 points and was eight-for-eight with his goal-kicking in the quarterfinal rout of the Aussies.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 19, 2019
However, England had just 36 percent of the possession and capitalized on 18 Australian turnovers. Those numbers won’t fly against New Zealand.
It’s All Blacks All The Time
England have the size at forward and pace in the backs to give New Zealand a true go. To beat the All Blacks, England will need to be physical in defense and error-free.
That’s easier said than done against a New Zealand side that makes its living off the counter attack. And England’s defensive game is suspect.
⚡️ THROWBACK | We take you back to 1999 and the last time the All Blacks played @EnglandRugby at the Rugby World Cup.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 23, 2019
New Zealand are 3-0 in head-to-head meetings with England at the RWC. The All Blacks have won twice in Group Stage play – 18-12 in 1991 and 30-16 in 1999, the last time these two nations clashed in the tournament. New Zealand also hammered the English 45-29 in the 1995 RWC semifinals.
This New Zealand side might not be as powerful as the squads that won the past two RWC, but the All Blacks are still the All Blacks.
They will win and cover against England and go for the third straight world title.
Pick: New Zealand (-305) and New Zealand -7 (-115)