Mon, Aug 20, 9:59am by Staff Writer
It was business as usual for the All Blacks as they cruised to a 38-13 win against Australia in the opening game of the 2018 Rugby Championship in Sydney.
New Zealand are short-priced favourites at $1.04 to claim the Rugby Championship after getting off to a winning start.
The match also served as the first game of the Bledisloe Cup, which New Zealand has held since 2002.
The Wallabies started the match well, controlling possession and field possession, but had to settle for two penalty goals inside the first quarter of the game.
Despite that, the All Blacks controlled possession (55 per cent) and territory (56 per cent) for the match.
The match changed just before half time when Aaron Smith scored for the All Blacks, who looked out of sync in the opening 40 minutes.
It did not take the world champions long to get going in the second half, with Jack Goodhue and Beauden Barrett scoring early in the second half to give the Kiwis a match-winning lead.
Wallabies debutant Jack Maddocks scored in the 66th minute to give the home side some hope, before a late brace by flyer Waisake Naholo well and truly put the result beyond doubt.
The two sides will meet once again this weekend, but this time at Eden Park in Auckland.
A win for the All Blacks will once again secure the Bledisloe Cup, with the Wallabies needing an unlikely victory at Eden Park to salvage their Rugby Championship and Bledisloe hopes this season. They are $41 to win the Rugby Championship this year.
In Durban it was a winning start to the Rugby Championship for South Africa who defeated Argentina 34-21.
The Springboks are $12 to win the Rugby Championship ahead of their return fixture against the Pumas in Buenos Aires on Sunday.
The visitors got off to a wonderful start, scoring two of the game’s first three tries to hold a 14-5 lead after half an hour.
South Africa struck swiftly after half-time, scoring three tries in an 11-minute span to put the result beyond doubt.
Young Lions winger Aphiwe Dyantyi scored two tries on debut for the hosts, as he looks a player for the future given his breakout season for the Lions in Super Rugby this season.
Argentina’s best chance of a win in the Rugby Championship this season looks to be in this week’s match against South Africa.
They are $201 to win the Rugby Championship.
Rugby Championship Odds – Sportsbet
New Zealand $1.04
South Africa $12
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