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Nic Ladds 28th Nov 2008 - 13:34

Another All Black day looms for England

Martin Johnson will be hoping his England side can bounce back from the record-breaking defeat they suffered at Twickenham at the hands of South Africa.

The formidable opposition they will be facing this time comes in the shape of a New Zealand team looking for a Grand Slam over British teams as they have already defeated Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

England are priced up at 13/2 to record a victory with New Zealand 1/14 with the prices reflecting what the layers are expecting to happen. The handicap has England with a 20-point head start at 10/11 which is a huge start if they can avoid another shambles like against South Africa.

The fact that a price of 6/1 is being offered about England losing by a bigger margin than 36 like they did against the Springboks shows exactly what many are expecting from the game.

So what needs to be done to nurse this exceptionally talented but young England team back to their best and really give the All Blacks a game?

Johnson faces the unenviable task of trying to re-build England's confidence which was shattered last week. Danny Cipriani has shouldered much of the blame after an abysmal game against the Springboks but perhaps facing up to the All Blacks would have been the best way to really test the 21 year old and help him

His replacement Toby Flood is a totally different style of player. Cipriani is a runner of the ball and loves attacking with ball in hand but this can be very difficult against a classy All Blacks defence.

Flood meanwhile is not so creative going forward but is much more solid defensively with tactical kicking and more solid tackling which is what England were certainly lacking against South Africa.

Flood's odds of 25/1 to score the first try reflect his lack of attacking prowess but with him influencing the back line England are almost certainly to leak fewer points from breakaway runs.

Cipriani will be likely to get a chance to redeem himself later on and is available at 11/2 to come of the bench and score.

It is unlikely that England will get the same kind of beating that they did against the Springboks but a victory is unlikely. New Zealand have an extremely experienced team with an average age of 27 and seven of the starting eleven boasting more than 50 caps each and only one player has less than 20 caps.

Richie McCaw is a truly inspirational leader, Dan Carter's kicking has been slightly suspect recently but he is still arguably the greatest fly-half in the world and Flood will have to be at his defensive best to stop Carter bursting through England's back line. The 16/1 about Carter scoring the first try looks tempting.

Wingers Joe Rockocko and Sitiveni Sivivatu will be popular selections to go over first but are suitably short at 9/1 each. The best value lies with Ma'a Nonu. The powerful centre has blistering pace, is excellent at breaking through back lines and England will have to be exceptionally careful of his devastating runs and he has gone over in his last two matches.

For those fancying England to get off to sprightly start wingers Paul Sackey and Ugo Monye are both 16/1 but if England are going to get off to a flyer it could be in the forwards that they have some success.

Nick Kennedy and Michael Lipman have been drafted in with Kennedy
bringing more of a threat in the lineout and Lipman offering more leadership qualities which should keep the pack in line.

One to watch at a massive price is James Haskell. Rookie Haskell has impressed with some of his recent displays and with genuine pace and power could benefit from some tight forward play and is massive at 40/1 to score first or 8/1 to score anytime.

England will be looking for more potency going forward as well as tightening up the defence but New Zealand have an incredible defence who have not conceded a single point in the second half of their last five tour games.

While England should be better at the back, 11/10 about England scoring under 11 points looks the bet.

On the handicap while England won't be beaten as badly as they were against South Africa, the All Blacks should cover the 20 point handicap against an England team with bags of potential which they are yet to realise.

Ma'a Nonu to score first try - 12/1
England to score under 11 points - 11/10
New Zealand -20 points - 10/11


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