24th Sep - RWC 2015 Best Bets

Steve Richardson
Thu, 24 Sep, 9:08 AM

One man, Jacques Burger, and some potential rain shouldn't stop the All Blacks from lighting up the Olympic Park this evening.

The Saracens' tackling machine Burger starts for Namibia and his aim, alongside ex-Wasps backrower Tinus du Plessis, will be to stop New Zealand from embarrassing the Welwitchias.

The duo may well do that to begin with as All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has made 12 changes from Sunday's starting side against Argentina and his side need time to build their patterns.

But once they have found their stride, New Zealand should be way too strong and it is unlikely that Burger and du Plessis will stay on the pitch for the full 80 minutes with future, less difficult Pool B tasks on the horizon.

Get on the All Blacks to give up 35 points in the second half even if breaking World Cup records such as Australia's 22 tries and 142-0 win over the south west Africans from 2003 and Marc Ellis' six-try personal haul for New Zealand against Japan in 1995 are not matched or broken.

With three caps-centurions in Richie McCaw, Tony Woodcock and Keven Mealamu on the champions' bench alongside the likes of Kieran Read and Ben Smith, the All Blacks onslaught should be endless.

A win along the lines of their 74-6 success over the USA in Chicago last year would probably not satisfy the Kiwis especially as Namibia lost 87-0 to South Africa and 81-7 to Wales at the World Cup four years ago.

With tries likely to come from all over the park, the best value anytime tryscorer bet looks to be All Blacks flanker Liam Messam at evens. Messam links up in backrow moves, rolling mauls and is often seen in support of line breaks. He has six Test tries.

Sonny Bill Williams starts and will look to carve through the Namibian defensive line just as he did in his second half appearance against Argentina on Sunday. First try scorer markets may be of interest here at 8-1.

Wingers Julian Savea and Nehe Milner-Skudder are bound to be popular to rack up more than one try. They are 7-4 and 5-2 respectively with Ladbrokes for the hat-trick.

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