Wed, Oct 3, 11:17am by Staff Writer
The final week of the Rugby Championship is upon us, with matches in South Africa and Argentina closing out the competition for this season.
South Africa versus New Zealand
Sunday, 7 October 2018 at 1:05am at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
South Africa is looking to make it three wins in a row in the Rugby Championship when it hosts New Zealand on Sunday morning (AEST).
The Springboks are $4.45 underdogs to win the match, with the All Blacks priced at $1.21.
South Africa stunned New Zealand in Wellington last month winning 36-34.
There were two conversions missed by Beauden Barrett that he would kick the majority of the time that cruelled the All Blacks, but it was the Boks’ ability with ball in hand that impressed the most.
They didn’t go into their shell on attack or kick the ball away and gift possession to the All Blacks.
They forced the Kiwi side to defend and stretched them on defence when inside their own 22.
A standout in the past two Rugby Championship games has been South Africa’s defence.
They spent large parts of the second half against Australia last weekend without the ball but didn’t concede any points to the Wallabies.
Their goal line defence has been staunch and that was also on display against New Zealand.
New Zealand is an 11.5-point favourite on the handicap at $1.90, while the All Blacks to win 13+ is the shortest priced option in margin betting.
New Zealand to win by 1-12 points is paying $3, while South Africa to win 1-12 is priced at $5.50 and a 13+ win at $17.
The Rugby Championship was secured by the All Blacks last weekend, so it remains to be seen if coach Steve Hansen elects to rotate his squad further and given some inexperienced Test players an opportunity in challenging conditions in South Africa.
Three of the past four matches between the two teams in South Africa have been decided by seven points or less, with the one blowout a 57-15 win to New Zealand in Durban two years ago.
This one should be closer than expected and the Springboks can keep it close.
Best bet- New Zealand to win by a 1-12 margin at $3
Argentina versus Australia
Sunday, 7 October 2018 at 9:30am at Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium
Argentina will be seeking its second straight win against the Wallabies when it hosts Australia in Salta on Sunday morning (AEST).
The Pumas will certainly be buoyed by their 23-19 win on the Gold Coast just a few weeks ago in a shock result for the visitors.
They are priced as $1.81 favourites to win their final match of the Rugby Championship, with Australia a $2 outsider.
The Wallabies have lost eight of their past 10 Test matches, as they struggle to find enough spark in attack and enough focus in defence.
They had plenty of ball in the second half against South Africa, but failed to score any points in the second half.
Their attention to detail was lacking from the outset and was on show when Kurtley Beale threw a long pass on his own goal line which was intercepted for a South African try in the opening 30 seconds of the game.
Australia has won two of its past three matches in Argentina, including a 37-20 win in last year’s Rugby Championship.
Reece Hodge scored twice on that night in his best performance in a Wallabies jersey.
Argentina lost by 18 points in last week’s Rugby Championship match against New Zealand, but showed plenty of attacking ambition all the way down to the final whistle.
The Pumas are 1.5-point favourites in handicap betting.
Argentina to win by 1-12 points is paying $2.88, while Australia to win by the same margin is priced at $3.25.
Neither side is fancied to win by 13+, but it is Argentina who are the shorter priced option in that market, despite Australia having the historical edge against the Pumas.
Argentina to win 13+ is paying $4.33, with Australia 13+ priced at $4.50.
Rugby Championship Week 6 Odds
South Africa $4.45 New Zealand $1.21
Argentina $1.81 Australia $2
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