Each day our exclusive MATCH OF THE DAQ service previews the big match of the day – usually a televised game.

As well as the preview we also bring you the head to head records of the two teams as well as a recommended bet on BETDAQ for the match.

New Zealand v Tonga
Rugby World Cup
KO 09:30, ITV 1 (Friday)


(Max last 10 only)
24 Oct 2003 Rugby World Cup New Zealand 91-7 Tonga              
16 Jun 2000 Tonga Tour New Zealand 102-0 Tonga             
03 Oct 1999 Rugby World Cup New Zealand 45-9 Tonga 


So after all the waiting, the Rugby World Cup is finally here. New Zealand, as hosts, kick off the proceedings against Tonga in Auckland tomorrow. The All Blacks are once again strong favourites to lift the Webb Ellis Cup in 2011, although they have had that tag for a number of tournaments without success.

Having won the inaugural World Cup in 1987, the All Blacks have failed to follow up that success and they have had some spectacular defeats along the way. The one that sticks out is their semi-final loss to France in 1999, where they went into the break with a healthy lead only to capitulate in the second half.

Coach Graham Henry will be pleased with how the preparations have gone to date, although they were piped at the post by Australia in the Tri-Nations. The All Blacks chose to rest most of their starting XV against South Africa in their penultimate match and were well beaten to give the Wallabies a way back in.

The hosts will be supremely confident of getting off to a winning start, but they won’t underestimate the power the Tongans possess. Tonga have been beaten on each occasion they have played New Zealand and I expect a fourth here as the hosts look to put on a show for the supporters.

Given that the past two matches have seen the All Blacks win by 84 points and 102 points, I would be inclined to back them to overcome the -70.5 handicap on BETDAQ.

RECOMMENDATION: (1-10 points)

Back New Zealand with a -70.5 handicap at around 2.72: 4 points
Wednesday’s Return: +15 points