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Mike Tindall in Man v Machine: Final Round

28 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Mike Tindall in Man v Machine: Final Round

The Machine has already secured a comfortable victory, but can World Cup winner Mike Tindall restore some pride in the final round?

Rugby is a numbers game, yet it is also a game that is played in the head.

Never has that been more true than in the final games of a World Cup – with the gold, silver and bronze medals all still up for grabs.

Throughout the 2015 tournament we have been pitching the experience of former England centre and World Cup winner Mike Tindall against the mathematical calculations of data analytics in a bid to see which can best predict how each crucial match will pan out.

The Machine secured an unassailable 6-2 lead in Rounds Seven and Eight for the semi-finals – predicting a narrow New Zealand win and the exact winning margin for Australia.

But can Mike secure a more respectable scoreline in the final games of the tournament, or will The Machine reaffirm its superiority?

With both making their individual calls for the third-place play-off in Round Nine, here are their predictions for the last game of the tournament – the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.

Final: New Zealand v Australia (Saturday, 20:00)

The Machine says:

New Zealand have won 7 and lost 1 of their last 10 internationals against Australia, with 2 draws.

During those matches New Zealand have averaged 3 tries per game compared to Australia’s 1.5.

New Zealand have also averaged 30.7 points per game compared to Australia’s 19.6, with an average winning margin of 11.1.

Australia do however have a superior head-to-head record in Rugby World Cups, having beaten New Zealand in the 1991 quarter-final and the 2003 semi-final before losing in the 2011 semi-final.

During those matches, Australia have averaged 1 try and 14.7 points per game compared to New Zealand’s 0.7 and 12, with an average winning margin of 2.7.

7/1 – New Zealand to win by 11-15
9/2 – New Zealand to score exactly 3 tries
11/4 – Australia to score exactly 2 triesnz-aus
Mike says:

I think that this is going to be a cracking game, with the two best teams in the world in good form going toe-to-toe for the biggest honour in the game.

You do not often see a load of tries in World Cup finals but both of these teams have the potential to score a couple each, although such is the quality of their respective defences I do not think that it will be a particularly high-scoring game.

Australia need a big first 20 minutes as they will not want to chase the game by falling behind and allowing New Zealand to find their rhythm because they have a ruthless streak that just does not let up.

The forwards are where this game is going to be won and lost – and the Wallabies will hope that they have got Scott Sio back in order to shore up their scrum.

James Slipper had a bit of a tough time at the weekend and that is somewhere where New Zealand will think that they can get a foothold.

On the other hand, the David Pocock and Michael Hooper factor will be interesting in terms of occupying Richie McCaw and Jerome Kaino at the breakdown and limiting their influence elsewhere.

In terms of exciting runners you have probably got the two best back threes in the world taking on one another – although Argentina may have something to say about that!

Julian Savea will want to make up for having a quiet game at the weekend and the feet of Nehe Milner-Skudder are just ridiculous, while Ma’a Nonu is probably also due a farewell try.

On the other side both Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper have been brilliant for the Wallabies, and their finishing ability is so good that you would back them to both get on the scoresheet.

As much as New Zealand looked initially nervous in their semi-final against South Africa, they had a cool calmness at the end when they needed it most.

They have a ruthless ability to get the job done at the moment and I think that is what will ultimately decide who lifts the trophy.

I think it will be close, but I am backing the All Blacks to come out on top 24-18.

9/2 – New Zealand to win by 6-10
13/8 – Nehe Milner-Skudder to score any time
3/1 – Ma’a Nonu to score any time
5/2 – Adam Ashley-Cooper to score any time
3/1 – Drew Mitchell to score any time

New Zealand v Australia match betting

Rugby World Cup betting

READ: How Southern Hemisphere superpowers have rest of the world in the palm of their hand