A preview of Saturday's Rugby Championship clash between Argentina and New Zealand in Brisbane including best bets and tryscorer specials with @Olimp_SA
Argentina and New Zealand complete Saturday’s Rugby Championship double header in Brisbane with Los Pumas looking to avoid another hiding, while a new-look All Black team will try to prove just how much depth New Zealand rugby has right now.
After losing just one of their four Rugby Championship matches last season Los Pumas had high hopes going into this year’s tournament. Instead it’s turned out to be a complete disaster for the Argentinian’s and they haven’t looked anywhere near recording their first victory of the tournament. Last week’s 39-0 loss on the Gold Coast was their third consecutive loss and they have now also failed to cover the handicap in any of their three Rugby Championship matches.
With only one try so far this tournament it’s evident that Argentina is having a tough time crossing the whitewash and they are going to need to do some serious thinking to avoid the tournament being a complete embarrassment for them. They have now conceded 77 points and scored none in their last two clashes with New Zealand and will look to at least stop the All Blacks from running away with the game on Saturday.
It was another seamless performance from New Zealand last week which saw them run in five tries against Argentina and take another step closer towards their 7th Rugby Championship title.
The All Blacks have opted to rest a number of top players this week ahead of their two matches against South Africa including Beauden Barrett, Sevu Reece and David Havili amongst the backs. They have also opted for a complete makeover in the forward pack which sees Ardie Savea returning at number seven to captain the side.
Argentina were able to take advantage of a Welsh team earlier this year that were missing a number of key players and this may open the door to a better performance than last week. But with the likes of McKenzie, Jordan, Riko Ioane and Bridge still around it’s going to take nothing more than a miracle for Argentina to come out on top in this one.
We all know that there is great depth in New Zealand rugby, but I do feel like the All Blacks have perhaps made one too many changes for this clash. It’s certainly not going to cost them the game, but they have certainly invited a much closer scoreline for this match. Despite all the changes the bookies are still giving New Zealand a 25 point head start and although Argentina have been quite poor in the tournament up until now I simply have to back them on this handicap.
With all the changes in the New Zealand team I don’t see them operating as smoothly as they did last week and I don’t see the tries coming thick and fast. It’s also worth noting that all of Argentina’s matches this year have finished under the total points line. The line for this match is 54 points and with New Zealand not playing their first team and Argentina struggling to cross the line I think it’s worth a bet. Damian McKenzie is back at flyhalf for the All Blacks and I think there’s some value to back him as an anytime tryscorer. I’ve also noticed that New Zealand are now shifting the ball to a loosie at the back of the rolling mall and it’s possible that Hoskins Sotutu could get involved and score the first try.
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(Note, all odds quoted are subject to change)