Thu, Aug 24, 12:08pm by Staff Writer
New Zealand continued their dominance over historic rivals Australia last weekend in the opening Bledisloe Cup match. That was the All Blacks sixth win in a row over the Wallabies, and in those games they’ve piled on an average of 40 points.
New Zealand v Australia, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Saturday August 26, 5:35pm AEST
A second half revival from Australia made the 54-34 score line slightly more respectable but the damage was done in the opening 40 as the All Blacks ran riot. Prior to the game, the Wallabies talked up how they had worked out chinks in the All Blacks armour following the British and Irish Lions tour. One supposed weakness was under pressure from a rush defence, something the Wallabies failed drastically at implementing.
With the second tie of the Bledisloe back in Dunedin, it is likely to be a party atmosphere for the All Blacks as they look to wrap up the Series. They are heavy favourites with William Hill priced at $1.03 for the win. The return of hooker Dane Coles to starting line-up will only add more potency to their attack as he makes his first Test appearance since November.
Australian Rugby and the Wallabies are staring down the barrel of a gun. Last week’s Test in Sydney was a chance to put some pride back in the jersey and put away all the off-field issues. Failure to do that has meant that the decline of rugby in Australia is still in the spotlight in the led up to this weekend’s match.
With the Wallabies standing at $12.50. A task made even more difficult by the fact that New Zealand have won the last four matches in Dunedin.
Bet of the Match: New Zealand to Score First and Win at $1.42
Argentina v South Africa, Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Sunday August 27, 3:30am AEST
As expected last week’s Test between Argentina and South Africa was a tough, physical contest which the Springboks came out on top of. That 37-15 victory has carried on from their impressive performances against France in the June Series.
With pride being restored in the Springbok jersey, South Africa once again look like they could be returning to form. The challenge now is to start winning away from home, having none won an away game in their last six attempts.
They head to Argentina as favourites priced at $1.35 but will know their plenty of work to do if they are to not lose as they did last time they made the trip. With key players in form from the Super Rugby season the Springboks, however, look like a side ready to right the wrongs of 2016.
Argentina, on the other hand, will be hoping they can back up that 26-24 victory. The quality of players that they have at their disposal is slowly starting to improve giving them more of a chance of competing in The Rugby Championship. With a thrilling back line, the Pumas are capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch and will be a constant threat. As they look to overturn a price of $3.20.
Bet of the Match: South Africa to Win by 1-12 points at $2.70
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