Thu, Sep 7, 3:45pm by Staff Writer
New Zealand v Argentina, Yarrow Stadium, Saturday September 9, 5:35pm AEST
After wrapping up the Bledisloe Cup for another year, the All Blacks will now turn their attentions to once again dominating The Rugby Championship.
This weekend they host Argentina in New Plymouth looking for a 25th consecutive win over Los Pumas. New Zealand’s incredible record against Argentina is unlikely to be tested with Argentina arriving after back to back losses to South Africa in the opening Rounds of 2017. Despite making a number of changes from their wins over Australia, the All Blacks are certainly not a weakened side.
Ardie Savea’s involvement at openside flanker will be a huge test for the Pumas, with his Seven’s background making him a threat from anywhere on the field. New Zealand are clear favourites priced at $1.01.
Argentina did not go down without a fight in both of their games against the Springboks. As has so often been the case though, they were outplayed by a more disciplined side. The Pumas will understand the enormity of the challenge of being the All Blacks, but that won’t stop them having a crack.
Known for their willingness to play wide, attacking rugby, they will look to run the All Blacks off their feet in the hope of gaining an advantage. They are up against it priced at $17.00.
Bet of the Match: New Zealand to Win by 13+ points at $1.08 at William Hill
Australia v South Africa, nib Stadium, Saturday September 9, 8pm AEST
The Wallabies were able to restore some pride in the jersey with their last-minute loss to the All Blacks in Dunedin. That heart-breaking loss should have diverted the attention of rugby fans back to the action on the pitch, yet this week’s match against the Springboks will be overshadowed by off field issues.
The culling of the Western Force from Super Rugby, means the Wallabies may find a crowd in Perth not wholly behind them. That improved performance against the All Blacks will give them hope of beating South Africa and kick starting their 2017 campaign. Australia has won the last three games against the Springboks on Australian soil and are favourites to do so again, priced at $1.70.
South Africa, meanwhile, have put a disastrous 2016 behind them, with comprehensive wins over Argentina in their opening two matches. The success of the Lions on the Super Rugby stage, has embedded this Springbok side with a new generation of talent.
Whilst priced at $2.15, South Africa have the chance for a surprise win. Australia’s form has been inconsistent since the 2015 Rugby World Cup and South Africa will have plenty of ex-pat support in Perth. Potentially giving them an edge whilst most Australians fans will be busy berating the ARU.
With power up front through the likes of Eben Etzebeth, the Springboks will attack the Wallabies at their perceived greatest weakness, the scrum. A traditional strong point for the South Africans.
Bet of the Match- South Africa to Win by 1-12 points at $3.10 at William Hill
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