After suffering a record equalling defeat to the Wallabies last week New Zealand bid for revenge on Australia in Saturday's decisive Bledisloe Cup clash in Auckland.
New Zealand v Australia, Saturday 17th August, Auckland, KO 09:35 (South African time)
Weather Forecast - Auckland
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley (England), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
The All Blacks crashed to a 47-26 defeat to Australia in Perth last week, a game they started as double digits favourites on the handicap. Scott Barrett's sending off just before half time was undoiubtedly a big factor although the All Blacks were hardly having things their own way before he was red carded. Anton Lienert-Brown, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett and Ngani Laumape scored the All Blacks tries last week
New Zealand eventually finished third best in the Rugby Championship standings. They started with a hard earned 20-16 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires before drawing 16-16 with the Springboks in Wellington.
At the time of writing New Zealand were trading at 16/10 with WSB to win theRugby World Cup.
Last week's win in Perth was sweet although the Springboks victory over Argentina later in the day denied Australia the Rugby Championship title. Even though they had a numerical advanatge for the whole of the second half Australia had led 16-12 at the break and Reece Hodge 2, Lukhan Salakai-Loto, Marika Korobete, Nic White and Kurtley Beale were the try scorers.
Earlier results in the Rugby Championship saw the Wallabies beat Argentina 16-10 in a home game but their 1 away fixture ended in defeat to the Springboks (35-17) in Johannesburg.
The Wallabies have won 2 of the last 12 head to heads with the All Blacks, with the other victory coming in a Bledisloe Cup game in Brisbane in 2017. You have to go back to 2001 for the last Wallabies win over the All Blacks on New Zealand soil and last year's clash at this venue ended 40-12 in the All Blacks favour.
At the start of this week the Wallabies were a top price of 14/1 with Hollywoodbets to win the Rugby World Cup.
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Ardie Savea, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Ofa Tuungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Jordie Barrett
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Reece Hodge, 13 James O'Connor, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Folau Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Adam Ashley-Cooper
Recent Head to Heads, (any venue)
2019 Perth Australia 47-26 New Zealand (Tries 6-4 ) (Rugby Championship)
2018 Yokohama New Zealand 37-20 Australia (Tries 5-2 ) (Bledisloe Cup)
2018 Auckland New Zealand 40-12 Australia (Tries 6-2 ) (Rugby Championship)
2018 Sydney Australia 13-38 New Zealand (Tries 1-6 ) (Rugby Championship)
2017 Brisbane Australia 23-18 New Zealand (Tries 3-2 ) (Bledisloe Cup)
2017 Dunedin New Zealand 35-29 Australia (Tries 5-5 ) (Rugby Championship)
2017 Sydney Australia 34-54 New Zealand (Tries 4-8 ) (Rugby Championship)
2016 Auckland New Zealand 37-10 Australia (Tries 6-1 ) (Bledisloe Cup)
2016 Wellington New Zealand 29-9 Australia (Tries 4-0 ) (Rugby Championship)
2016 Sydney Australia 8-42 New Zealand (Tries 1-6 ) (Rugby Championship)
2015 Twickenham New Zealand 34-17 Australia (Tries 3-2 ) (RWC Final)
2015 Auckland New Zealand 41-13 Australia (Tries 5-1 ) (Bledisloe Cup)
2015 Sydney Australia 27-19 New Zealand (Tries 3-2 ) (Rugby Championship)
2014 Brisbane Australia 28-29 New Zealand (Tries 3-4 ) (Bledisloe Cup)
Betting - Handicap
New Zealand -13.5 at 9/10 Sunbet
Australia +14.5 at 9/10 WSB, Hollywood
The stats don’t look good for Australia in New Zealand with their last victory coming in 2011. Their last 5 matches on All Black soil have seen losses of 18, 6, 27, 20 and 28 points and their last 5 games at Eden Park make even worse reading 18, 17, 28, 31, 22.
The above being pointed out I am still going going for Australia to beat this handicap. They are clearly targeting the Bledisloe naming a virtually identical side to the one that went so well last week and while I have no doubt New Zealand will be competitive come RWC I have been saying for some time that there are cracks and this does not look like the All Black side of years gone by.
I expect a high paced but tight game and will be looking at a possible unders play (click here for the link to our rugby forum thread where I will post any additional bets and fellow punters share bets and info on rugby from around the globe) but in the interim I am backing Australia to lose by less than 15.
Unit Scale 1-10
Remember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum