Rugby League: England to prove too strong for Samoa in opener
The Four Nations tournament gets underway at the Suncorp Stadium with England taking on Samoa in what will be a physical clash.
Both sides possess plenty of powerful forwards so expect some huge hits in the opening stages of this clash but with England’s undoubted quality in almost all positions it’s easy to see why Steve McNamara’s men are as short as 1/7 for victory.
Samoa will fancy their chances of an upset more against England than either Australia or New Zealand and are 9/2 for the win but with last year’s beaten World Cup semi-finalists expected to prevail, Oliver Yew looks for three alternative bets to backing the favourites.
Samoa will not be a pushover for England and Steve McNamara’s side will have to be strong up front if they are to get the win that many expect them to.
But with England’s strength in the pack they will fight fire with fire against a Samoan side who will see the English as their best chance of causing an upset in the tournament.
However, given their powerful forward line the hosts should get enough of a foothold in the game to let the class of the likes of Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley and Ryan Hall in the back three show and claim victory by 11-20 points.
These two sides have never squared off in an official Test match but did meet in the Federation Shield final back in 2006 with England picking up a 38-16 win.
We are backing a repeat this time around with England possessing enough quality right across the park to prevail by more than 16 points in what is expected to be a bone-crunching encounter.
Graham was monumental in trying to stop the Burgess brothers in the NRL Grand Final and while that did not work out, he heads into the Four Nations opener is great form.
But with the Burgess boys on side this time around and the England captaincy to fire him up, we are siding arguably the best prop in world rugby to cap a strong performance with a try and land some decent spoils for our punters.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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