Wales will be looking to bounce back from their humbling at the hands of Wallabies when they take on Argentina this Saturday.
Wales and Argentina experienced conflicting fortunes last weekend with the Dragons going down 32-8 to Australia while Argentina ran out 54-20 victors against Japan.
So will Argentina make it two tour wins on the trot or will the slumbering Dragons wake from their coma?
Wales v Argentina | Saturday 12 November | Principality Stadium | 19:30
To Win (80 Mins)
Wales 5/10 | Draw 20/1 | Argentina 15/10
Wales (-3.5) 9/10 | Argentina (+3.5) 9/10
Yes, Australia were good last week. And yes, Wales were missing their head coach Warren Gatland who is busy laying the prep work for next year’s British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand but you would expect more from a Welsh side containing Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts and George North. This was by no means a second strength Welsh side ladies and gentlemen, but they rolled over like a bunch of Labradors who were having their bellies scratched.
I doubt will see the same attitude from the Welsh this week as stand-in coach Rob Howley would have had a right go at his charges. On top of this, stalwarts Liam Williams and Sam Warburton are likely to have regained full fitness by the time Saturday rolls around.
It’s not all sunshine and roses for the Dragons however as pivotal scrumhalf Rhys Webb looks unlikely to feature having sustained a nasty ankle injury in Saturday’s loss to the Wallabies. The nuggety nine is a massive loss for the Dragons as he has the ability to up the tempo of a game in the blink of an eye.
Los Pumas will fancy claiming another big scalp this Saturday particularly after thrashing Japan 54-20 out in Tokyo. The Argentines were nothing short of sensational on attack running in seven tries.
Do not let the high try count fool you. While the Argentine backs performed magnificently, the win was only made possible by their dominant forward pack. The Los Pumas pack will have to be at their best this weekend as the Welsh pack are a much tougher proposition than the Japanese.
The Argentines still have every chance of bossing the setpiece this weekend, though. They held their own against the All Black pack earlier the year and actually dominated during segments of their clash with the All Blacks in Buenos Aires. If they can put in a repeat performance here, they may well get the upper hand at both the set piece and breakdown.
While the Argentine pack will have a pivotal role to play, the man who the result is likely to hinge on is Nicolas Sanchez. The points machine wasn’t too flash with the boot last week missing some regulation kicks against Japan. He will need to ensure he brings his kicking game to the party this Saturday. If he does manage to find his range, he could well end the game with a plethora of points to his name.
Verdict: Argentina 15/10
Wales will be a hell of a lot stronger this week with a few players making a return including inspirational skipper Sam Warburton. I still fancy the Argentines though. They look fitter than their opponents and their ability to run the ball from deep could well catch the Dragon off guard. This one should be loaded with points as well so those who enjoy a Live In-Play bet, should really check out the points overs markets that will be available.