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Forget a Kiwi upset? - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Sun, 26 Oct 2008 11:21:00 GMT
Poor statistics in defence could be the key to an Australian victory over New Zealand at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight.

According to a report in the Sunday Telegraph, the New Zealand halves pairing of Benji Marshall and Thomas Leuluai could prove to be the undoing of an upset occurring.

Together Marshall and Leuluai have strung together a combined total of 105 missed tackles in the last 12 months.

Leuluai failed to make a tackle 44 times in 27 English Super League games while Marshall missed 61 from 18 NRL clashes.

Just as disturbing for Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney in his World Cup debut are the number of tries being leaked by fullback Lance Hohaia (33), winger Sam Perrett (34) and centre Jerome Ropati (28)

Yet some former Kangaroos stars remain concerned that supercoach Wayne Bennett may be able to fix those statistics and see Australia lose an opening game in a World Cup for the first time since 1995.

“I hope they really give it to each other the way they should in a World Cup”, said former Test halfback Tommy Raudonikis.

“First up,the Kiwis could sneak an upset.”

Many punters have also put their faith in the Kiwis taking up the TAB’s offer of a $5 quote. Australia remain $1.15 favourites to win comfortably on home soil.

Kiwis captain Nathan Cayless admitted his team is looking to go one better than the performance the trans-tasman arch –rivals put in during the Centenary Test at the SCG.

Should they go one worse, it could be a long night. Don’t forget to take your pillows and sleeping bags just in case.

Sunday October 26,
Sydney Football Stadium
Kick-off: 8pm


1. Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)
2. Joel Monaghan (Canberra Raiders)
3. Greg Inglis (Melbourne Storm)
4. Israel Folau (Melbourne Storm/Brisbane Broncos)
5. Brent Tate (NZ Warriors)
6. Darren Lockyer (c) (Brisbane Broncos)
7. Jonathan Thurston (cowboys)
8. Petero Civoniceva (panthers)
9. Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
10. Steve Price (NZ Warriors)
11. Glenn Stewart (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
12. Anthony Laffranchi (Gold Coast Titans)
13. Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks)
14. Brent Kite (Manly Warringah Seas Eagles)
15. Josh Perry (Manly Warringah Seas Eagles)
16. Anthony Tupou (Sydney City Roosters)
17. Kurt Gidley (knights)
Coach: Ricky Stuart (Cronulla Sharks)

New Zealand:

1. Lance Hohaia (NZ Warriors)
2. Sam Perrett (roosters)
3. Steve Matai (manly sea eagles)
4. Jerome Ropati (NZ Warriors)
5. Manu Vatuvei (NZ Warriors)
6. Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers)
7. Thomas Leuluai (Wigan Warriors)
8. Nathan Cayless (c) (eels)
9. Nathan Fien (NZ Warriors)
10. Adam Blair (Melbourne Storm)
11. Simon Mannering (NZ Warriors)
12. Sika Manu (Melbourne Storm)
13. Jeremy Smith (Melbourne Storm)
14. Dene Halatau (Wests Tigers)
15. Greg Eastwood (Brisbane Broncos/Leeds Rhinos)
16. Setimata Sa (roosters)
17. Sam Rapira (NZ Warriors)
Coach: Stephen Kearney (Melbourne Storm) - Read More, Here