New Zealand are bidding to defend their Rugby League World Cup title as they face Australian in the final this afternoon.
It is a repeat of the last two finals with the Kiwis coming away 34-20 winners in the final in the most recent in Brisbane back in 2008.
But they’ll have a tough task in repeating that feat with Australia looking almost untouchable so far in this year’s tournament.
Officials have confirmed the Old Trafford final is sold out, which will break the attendance record for an international rugby league match.
The Aussies are looking very assured going into Saturday’s final, having only conceded two points in their last four games and not conceding any tries since their opening pool match against England.
After winning Pool A at a canter, Tim Sheens’ side have recorded easy victories over USA 62-0 in the quarter-finals, and 64-0 over Fiji in the semis.
Aussie winger Jarryd Hayne is the tournament’s highest try-scorer with nine so far and Stan James, amongst others, are providing odds of 10/1 on scoring the first try in the final. These are very generous odds so this goes down as my Bet of the Day.
Billy Slater is also a likely candidate to open the scoring and a number of outlets including SkyBet, are also offering odds of 10/1.
In terms of overall match odds, Australia are considerable favourites to snatch the World Cup trophy from their greatest rivals.
New Zealand in Search of Upset
The Kiwis count themselves lucky to even have reached the final because for a long while it looked as though England would be facing Australia.
Shaun Johnson was the saviour of the moment a week ago as a last minute try from the halfback rescued New Zealand, in a heart-braking moment for England.
Since that dramatic victory, the limelight has focussed on Sonny Bill Williams who is looking to become the first player to win both the rugby union and rugby league World Cups.
They’ve not looked quite as secure at Australia over the course of the tournament, conceding 52 points over their five matches in comparison to Australia’s 22.
However they also hold an unbeaten record in the competition and are boosted with the news that Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will be available for the match.
The winger, who scored twice in the semi-final victory, had looked a doubt after picking up a lower leg injury but is fit enough to feature in the final.
In terms of betting odds, Bet 365 provide the best price on a New Zealand victory at 3/1.
Don’t forget you can also claim free bets with Coral by clicking HERE.
You can catch all the action live from 2:30pm on either BBC One or Premier Sports.