Scores updated each minute. REFRESH NOW
England vs New Zealand
International, 24 June, 2018
|Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium|
|Fulltime - England 36, New Zealand 18|
|Referee: Ben Thaler|
|Touch judges: Chris Kendall & Chris McMillan|
|Video Referee: Jared Maxwell|
International rugby league heads to Denver for the first time as England and New Zealand square off in the annual representative round. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6am (AEST).
This game is an opportunity for rugby league. With the World Cup set to be hosted states-side in 2025, this first Test in Denver ramps up the expansion of the code into the frontier that is the United States of America.
While the game has had more than its fair share of doubters, including those from within the NRL due to players having to fly halfway across the world in the middle of the season, the show will go on.
New Zealand will be a long way from full strength for the contest though, with players injured and unable to compete in the game against England. Not having Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson will be the biggest problem for new Kiwi coach Michael Maguire, who has named six debutants in his 19-man squad.
Not having Jason Taumalolo will hurt the men from across the Tasman though, with the big lock declaring his allegiance for Tonga this weekend, set to take on Samoa in Campbelltown.
After their embarrassing World Cup defeat at the hands of Fiji in the quarter-finals, this marks the beginning of a new era. Issac Luke is the key man though, with the hooker finding a rich vein of form at the Warriors over the first half of the season.
England, on the other hand, are more or less settled. Coach Wayne Bennett has made few changes to the squad which lost to Australia in the 2017 World Cup final, with five Australian-based players making the 19-man squad to travel over, being Sam Burgess, Tom Burgess, Elliott Whitehead, Gareth Widdop and James Graham.
The four forwards will provide depth to an already strong pack led by Sean O’Loughlin, while Widdop’s form has seen the Dragons head to the top of the NRL ladder after 14 weeks of action.
Bennett’s side appears to be well settled, and with so many attacking threats on the wings, New Zealand will need to dominate possession and build constant pressure if they are to take victory.
New Zealand are a long way from full strength and England were very impressive at the World Cup last year. They will win this, although not by heaps.
England by 8.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2018 Denver Test between England and New Zealand from 6am (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.