Thu, Aug 23, 11:45am by Staff Writer
Date and Time: Saturday August 25, 5:35pm AEST
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
TV: Channel 10, Fox Sports
New Zealand again has a stranglehold on the Bledisloe Cup after a comprehensive 38-13 win against the Wallabies last Saturday night in Sydney.
The All Blacks can secure their 16th straight Bledisloe with a win at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.
They are short-priced favourites to do just that, priced at $1.05 at Sportsbet, with the Wallabies $11 outsiders.
What is counting against the visitors is the fact that they have never won a game against the All Blacks at Eden Park.
The ground has been a fortress for the hosts, who were victorious 37-10 in the last match the two contested at the ground in 2016.
In an injury blow for the Wallabies, fullblack Israel Folau will miss the match with an ankle injury.
Dane Haylett-Petty or Kurtley Beale are expected to fight it out for the number 15 jersey this week ahead of the Wallabies’ trip across the ditch.
The Wallabies highlighted turnovers as their big area of improvement for game two, as they conceded four tries from turnover ball.
After leading 6-0, the Wallabies conceded a try just before half-time, handing momentum to New Zealand heading into the break.
The All Blacks were ruthless in the second half, with a lone bright spot for the hosts being a try to debutant Jack Maddocks.
Beale has form at fullback after playing last season’s spring tour in the position, while Haylett-Petty has never played fullback for Australia.
The All Blacks are 22.5-point favourites at Sportsbet, after being 10.5-point favourites for game one.
They are $1.00 to win the Bledisloe this season and will surely lift the prestigious cup once again. The third Bledisloe Test takes place in Yokohama, Japan in October.
In the past four matches played between these two sides at Eden Park, the winning margins have been 22, 31, 28 and 27 points.
New Zealand to win by 13+ is the shortest price in the margin markets at $1.30. An All Blacks win by 1-12 points is $4.33, while an unlikely Australian victory by 1-12 points is paying $12.
This match also serves as the second match in the Rugby Championship for both sides, with the Wallabies needing a win to keep their chances of winning the four-team series alive.
Argentina and South Africa meet in Mendoza on Sunday morning in their second game of the Rugby Championship.
The Springboks have won their past three matches against the Pumas and have only lost once since 2015 against the Argentinians.
The hosts are $3 outsiders to win the match at Sportsbet, while South Africa are $1.40 to start their 2018 Rugby Championship campaign undefeated.
Rugby Championship Week 2 Odds
New Zealand $1.05 v Australia $11
Argentina $3 v South Africa $1.40
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