The 29th of September will see New Zealand take on Italy at the Rugby World Cup 2023. They head to Lyon for a game that will be third in Pool A for each side. This has been a regular meeting at the World Cup – New Zealand winning all five meetings so far, with a draw from an abandoned game.
Will the contest be as one-sided as the odds would have punters believe? Let’s dig into New Zealand vs Italy, the two sides and the key players. Will the match go to form, or can it be one of the shock results of the tournament?
Where can you find the best odds for this match?
New Zealand vs Italy looks sure to be a popular betting match. William Hill offers some of the best odds on rugby. It’s a competitive market, and they are a household name who have built a brand over almost 90 years of business.
Stake.com is a newer arrival in the industry. They are quickly making a name for themselves with plenty of sponsorship across sports. Pinnacle uses sharp money to tweak their early prices. This allows them to offer a lower margin which is excellent for rugby punters.
Betway is another bookie to consider. They offer a wide range of markets at competitive odds when it comes to rugby. As you can see, plenty of options exist for a bet on the New Zealand vs Italy game.
New Zealand in the Spotlight
The three-time Rugby World Cup champions arrive without some of their usual swagger. They have been winning games in recent years, but that whiff of near invincibility is gone.
Despite that, they are still a team to be feared. Sides who fail to give them due respect will find themselves undone. Most will relish the opportunity to dethrone the All Blacks, which means the Sam Cane-led team need complete focus.
That is especially true when taking on Italy, guided by Kieran Crowley. The former All Blacks fullback will be desperate to end his tenure as Italian coach with a shock. Defensively the All Blacks must be ready in this New Zealand vs Italy matchup.
Italy in the Spotlight
Italy has been the whipping boy of the Six Nations for a while now. Despite that, there have been some hints that they are getting better. They have been ever-present at the Rugby World Cup, winning 13 of their 31 contests. They have yet to get out of the Pool stage but have won two matches at each of the last five Rugby World Cups.
They beat Namibia (in their pool again) and Canada in the 2019 World Cup. They were also in the same pool as New Zealand, but that game was postponed due to a typhoon. As such, it was awarded as a draw. The weather should not deny us New Zealand vs Italy in 2023.
A squad full of players in their early 20s could see Italy as a dark horse for next time. They seem unlikely to have enough to impact 2023, but 2027 could be a different story.
With George Bridge forgoing the World Cup with Montpellier and Sevu Reece injured New Zealand will have a different look. This is no bad thing, though, as in recent times, they have come in for criticism. A Rugby World Cup might not be the time to try something new, but it won’t hurt this current side.
One of the finest placekickers in world rugby over the last five or six years has been Richie Mo’unga. It is not just his ability to score points from the dead ball – there are few better in the sport at pinpoint accuracy with cross-field kicks. Add in his speed and evasive footwork, and you have a game-changer of a player.
The Italian team are not entirely short of ability. In Ange Capuozzo, they have one of the brightest fullback talents in the game. A player who can magic something out of nothing has the potential to make a massive difference to their long-term future.
Predictions for New Zealand vs Italy
Italy will be cursing their luck, drawn in the same pool as New Zealand once more. They beat Australia in the Autumn Nations Series in November 2022, but that has been a rare high point for them.
New Zealand will be expected to make short work of Italy. New Zealand vs Italy has happened 15 times in competitive competition, with the All Blacks winning every clash. The winning margin has been by an average of 48 points in those contests.
The most recent match saw New Zealand win 47-9 in Rome. That came in the autumn of 2021. While this is far from a classic All Blacks team, they should have too many guns for Italy.