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Kangaroos vs New Zealand: Pacific Championships live scores, blog

28th October, 2023
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Roar Guru
28th October, 2023
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The Pacific Championships continue with qualified finalists Australia and New Zealand facing off in Melbourne. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 8:10pm (AEDT).

The Kangaroos had a thumping victory over Samoa in their last match, and were never in danger of losing. Despite already qualifying for the final, Mal Meninga will want his playing group to be anything but complacent against their Trans-Tasman rivals this week.

While Valentine Holmes is a big in for the Aussies following his off-field ‘white powder’ incident, Nicho Hynes is the headline inclusion, as the Sharks halfback is set to make his Australia debut off the bench.

Just like the Aussies, New Zealand had a huge win against Samoa; more importantly, they kept the 2021 World Cup runners-up to nil, showing Michael Maguire is prioritising defence even in big victories.

With an unchanged line-up, the Kiwis seem to be valuing match fitness in this short tournament leading up to the final instead of resting players.

Prediction

New Zealand will still be hurting after a tight loss to Australia in the World Cup semi-final last year.

While the result won’t matter as much as next week’s contest, the Kiwis would want to get one over the Kangaroos before the final. And that’s why I’m backing the Kiwis to get the job done.

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New Zealand by 8+

Game information

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 8:10pm (AEDT)
TV: Nine Network, Fox League
Streaming: 9Now, Kayo Sports
Betting: Australia $1.39, New Zealand $3 – odds via PlayUp

Teams

Australia

1. James Tedesco (c) 2. Dylan Edwards 3. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 4. Kotoni Staggs 5. Val Holmes 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Jake Trbojevic 9. Ben Hunt 10. Thomas Flegler 11. Cameron Murray 12. Reuben Cotter 13. Isaah Yeo

Interchange: 14. Harry Grant 15. Lindsay Collins 16. Patrick Carrigan 17. Nicho Hynes

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New Zealand

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Ronaldo Mulitalo 3. Matt Timoko 4. Joey Manu 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Dylan Brown 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. James Fisher-Harris (c) 9. Kieran Foran 10. Moses Leota 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Briton Nikora 13. Joe Tapine

Interchange: 14. Fa’amanu Brown 15. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 16. Griffin Neame 17. Leo Thompson

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