A Final Prediction

Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddes tells us why this game is closer to call than 2008

By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @SkyJordanFiddes.   Last Updated: 29/11/13 2:40pm

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Jarryd Hayne: Leading the way on the try scorer markets

Jarryd Hayne: Leading the way on the try scorer markets

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    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

A New Zealand v Australia World Cup Final was odds-on well before the opening ceremony in Cardiff and the two giants of the sport have not disappointed.

Of the two, New Zealand have done things tougher but, in all honesty, it was still pretty seamless for the current champions until last week's epic semi-final against England.

The Kiwis went into that game as 2/7 favourites but those who had backed the hosts at 3/1 were licking their lips for 79 minutes.

However, a last-gasp try from scrum-half Shaun Johnson set up a mouth-watering final against pre-tournament favourites Australia.

Although the majority of the capacity crowd heading to Old Trafford this weekend would have preferred to see an Australia v England final, many had already bought tickets before the tournament kicked off.

Australia will come into the final as favourites - as they did in 2008 - but their odds are not as one-sided as they were when they were shocked by Stephen Kearney's men in Brisbane.

At 1/3 lessons have been learned by the bookmakers coming into this one, but few would argue that Tim Sheen's men are favourites to reclaim the trophy they have won nine times.

Since beating England on the first day, the Green and Gold's have enjoyed a smooth journey to Old Trafford, scoring a total of 210 points.

Perhaps more impressively, they have not conceded a try since Cardiff, meaning New Zealand's powerful backs will have to be on top form to breach the Australian defence.

They are blessed with flair, however, and have one of the most prolific finishers in this year's competition.

New Zealand: Hoping to repeat their feats of the 2008 World Cup

Hard way

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has scored eight tries so far - just one behind leader Jarryd Hayne - and has made more metres than any other player.

The winger is 12/1 to open the scoring but has five Australian backs ahead of him in that market, one of which is Brett Morris.

The St George Illawara flyer was very popular among punters to be the tournament's top try-scorer but will need a hat-trick on Saturday to beat team-mate Hayne to the accolade.

Fiddes-Cent

Cooper Cronk to score anytime: 2/1 - The Australian play-maker is the competition's top try scoring scrum-half and has scored four tries in as many appearances in the 2013 World Cup.

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