2017 Rugby League World Cup - New Zealand vs Scotland Preview

The Lowdown

NEW ZEALAND

  • New Zealand weren't at their best but still ran out comfortable winners against Samoa in their opening game last weekend. The Kiwis went into the break just six points ahead but ran away with it in the second half and ended up winning by a 30-point margin.
  • David Kidwell has made seven changes to his side with one enforced after Gerard Beale broke his ankle in last week's win. Dean Whare takes his place in the side alongside new Jason Nightingale, Peta Hiku, Te Maire Martin, Elijah Taylor, Kenny Bromwich and Addin Fonua-Blake.
  • The Kiwis have lost just one of their last 11 World Cup matches, scoring 32 points or more in nine of those games and will fancy themselves to improve those records in this game.

Head Coach: David Kidwell

Team: Tuivasa-Sheck; Nightingale, Whare, Takairangi, Hiku; Martin, Johnson; Taupau, Taylor, Waerea-Hargreaves, Bromwich, Tapine, Blair

Bench: Asofa-Solomona, Packer, Fonua-Blake, Levi

SCOTLAND

  • Scotland couldn't handle the power of Tonga in their opening fixture as they conceded 50 points and were fortunate they didn't lose by an even greater margin.
  • The Bravehearts were 38-0 down at half-time which was the fourth game from the last five that Scotland have conceded that many points in an entire game.
  • Steve McCormack has made four changes to his side with Callum Phillips, Will Oakes, Frankie Mariano and Andrew Bentley all dropped. Brandon Wilkinson, Alex Walker, Jarred Anderson and Oscar Thomas are the men who come in.

Head Coach: Steve McCormack

Team: A. Walker; Tierney, Hellewell, Stein, Russell; Brough, Thomas; Douglas, Addy, Kavanagh, Anderson, Ferguson, Bell

Bench: K. Bentley, Brooks, Wilkinson, J. Walker

Analysis - what to expect
New Zealand will look to cement their place in the quarter-finals with a win over Scotland here. With a strong second half showing, the Kiwis overcame Samoa last week and now face a side who are coming off the back of a 50-point defeat. Scotland were poor and couldn't handle the power of the Tongans in their opening game. It won't get any easier against a much-changed New Zealand side who will be hoping to win this one by a similar score to what Tonga achieved.