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Farrell Kicks a Penalty

Horse racing fans often quote the doggerel verse:

            “Breathe there a bettor,

             With soul alive.

             Who paid the rent,

             Betting 1 to 5.”

In essence, for the traditional two-dollar wager at the track, should the favorite win at the above low odds, the small payout would total $.40, or $2.40 returned.

The poetry segues to the betting odds in the UK and Ireland on New Zealand to beat England in this Saturday’s long-awaited Test at Twickenham, the first match for these two titans in four-years. Betting odds:

            New Zealand 1-5

            England 9-2

Two-years ago, when England rattled off 18 victories in a row (tying the All Blacks’ win skein), the odds might have been near even, or maybe New Zealand at 9-5. But the Red Roses faltered badly, losing three matches in the 2018 Six Nations Championship, and ceding the title to Ireland, which accomplished the tournament Grand Slam, winning all five games. After the Six Nations, England then lost two matches to South Africa, extending the loss skein to five in a row.

Last Saturday, the All Blacks defeated Japan 69-31 in Tokyo with eight new caps. The Kiwis rolled in ten tries against the Brave Blossoms.

Meanwhile, at Twickenham, England proved that “Possession is nine tenth's of the law,” but in rugby,  it’s only the score that counts. The Red Roses held off the Springboks 12-11, as Handré Pollard’s last second, 48-meter penalty kick hit the posts. South Africa dominated play, totaling 78% possession during the slug fest, and enjoying 80% territorial advantage. It was all for naught as England made four penalties (Owen Farrell hit three) to notch the home win.

Saturday, November 10, at Twickenham will see standing room only as a packed house will watch the England-New Zealand Test.

The odds favor the All Blacks.