There are potentially some intriguing match ups in this contest.
Manu Vatuvei is probably not going to play ( groin )
The Kiwis relied heavily on Manu's heavy running on the kick return , Jayson Nightingale isn't the same type of player.
If it is hard running Kick returns they want then playing Hoffman on that wing would make for an opportunity for Kevin Locke to face his Frenemy Sam Tomkins
Tomkins is taking Lockes Club Jersey off him of course , that would be mouth watering If Kevin gets a rare head to head shot at Sam.
Tomkins is in another class to Locke , but an out of form Kevin Locke fired up V Tomkins would be a battle within the War worth admission price alone.
Sam Burgess V Sonny Bill.
Burgess won a unanimous Points decision when these two squared off early in the year , Williams and Burgess are at their peak , can't wait. Williams is a more skill full player all round skill , Burgess is a real strike weapon around the Ruck.
Simon Mannering V Sean O'Loughlin , not one many would look to , both players are the glue of their club sides and forwards that are underrated. Neither are flashy players but both teams will rely on them to do a lot of clean up work and both are leaders.
Sinfield V Foran ( ignore the numbers on the Jerseys and look at who does what in the halves ) . Kieran Foran has never reached his club form in a Kiwi Jumper until the Kiwis went away from theif go alone do it all by himself halfback Benji Marshall.
Foran without Marshall was a revelation in the losing Kiwi Anzac side , and so far in the WC 2013 he looks very impressive with his kicking game.
SinFeild on the other hand though much maligned has been fair.....he's no mug , I like some of his tricky kicks especially the ones he put in V the Kangaroos in the opening game...a lot of the time the Aussies had to let those kicks bounce.
Rangi Chase V Shaun Johnson :
Chase has been unkindly described as a poor mans Benji Marshall ( Tigers fans would tell you Marshall is a poor mans BenJi Marshall these days )
Similar players in that they are instinctive halves. Of the two , Johnson looks to have toned down his go it alone with foot work that these two are prone too more so than Chase.
The Key when playing Johnson is to get on top of him early....described by James Maloney as a temperamental personality , Johnson is the epitome of a confidence player , take it away and he is a very inexperienced kid out there.
Ryan Hall V Roger Tuivasa Sheck. While probably not playing opposite each other both are the pointy tip of the spear.
Hall is a champion Winger with amazing finishing skills , RTS is the up and comer who it will be interesting to see how he copes with the pressure of Wembley.
George Burgess is the Impact forward of the two teams then day Light , NZ have a magnificent Prop rotation , but for pure power and quick play the balls....if George holds onto the ball he will make the most impact off the respective benches.
The rest of the squads are much of a muchness with NZ having consistency in their forward pack which makes them possibly the strongest of the tournament. While England have players who are the Kiwis equal and superior in the forwards , they haven't showed the Machine like consistency and ruthless controlled aggression , too often a player will throw a head high tackle or mess around in the play the ball , or have poor ball security.
All those things are fixable for England and I expect after the way the forwards let England down in the opener (the Burgi especially) that they will be desperate to play smart footy.
Edited by mt smart, 18 November 2013 - 01:30 PM.