Rugby Championship: Argentina v New Zealand Preview

Rugby player gets tackled


New Zealand will be looking to secure the 2017 Rugby Championship title in style when they take on Argentina on Saturday the 30th of September.


After a weekend of Rugby Championship inertia, the southern hemisphere's premier international rugby tournament makes its return to rugby stadia and television sets with a Saturday double-bill.

While the limelight is likely to be hogged by the clash between the Boks and Wallabies, the real value for punters may be found later in the day, as the Argentina versus New Zealand game seems an easier game to call then the first offering of the round.

Argentina v New Zealand |  Saturday 30 September | Estadio Velez Sarsfield | 23:40

To Win (80 Mins)
Argentina 8/1 | Draw 35/1 | New Zealand 1/25
Handicap
Argentina (+22.5) 9/10 | New Zealand (-22.5) 9/10

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Argentina

This seems like a year of regression for the Argentines. A lacklustre showing from the Jaguares in  Super Rugby coupled with a series defeat to a second strength English side during the June Test window for Los Pumas has many questioning whether the Argentinian Ruby Union should drop its current policy of only selecting home-based player.

Their best showing came against the Kiwis in 'The Land Down Under' where they actually lead at half-time.

Argentina have been a lot better during the Rugby Championship then than they were in June but they still remain without a Championship win this term. Their first two games in the tournament saw them outplayed by the South Africans. While they played in patches during their latest defeat to Australia.

Ironically enough, their best showing came against the Kiwis in 'The Land Down Under' where they actually lead at half-time. They fell off during the second half, however, with New Zealand's incredible bench sparking a Blitzkrieg which saw the All Blacks run out 39-22 victors.

Coach, Daniel Hourcade will need to find some way of dealing with the All Blacks' bench if his side is to avoid a repeat of their last clash with the visitors.

New Zealand

You wouldn't say that New Zealand still needed three points to claim the 2017 Rugby Championship title judging by the side Steve Hansen has announced. There's no sign of Sam Kane nor Brodie Retallick in the Hansen's matchday 23. Instead, Matt Todd and Scott Barrett get starts.

Now I'm  not saying Hansen is wrong to rest a few of his big names and give some fringe players a run, it's just I don't know why he wouldn't want to seal the trophy first.

These men will want to put in solid displays, and I think we could be in for some fireworks from this weakened Kiwi side.

Having said the above, I think Hansen knows whatever 23 he fields will have enough about them to see off Argentina - or anyone in the 'comp for that matter. And why wouldn't he feel this way with the other three teams sitting with points differentials in the negatives and his team having points differential of positive 100?

Verdict: New Zealand (-22.5) 9/10
New Zealand haven't cleared a handicap this big in Argentina since pre-2013. They're also playing an understrength side. Despite these factors, I think the New Zealand minus is a solid bet. They've draughted in quite a few fringe players who will be looking to ensure they remain in and around Hansen's World Cup thinking. These men will want to put in solid displays, and I think we could be in for some fireworks from this weakened Kiwi side.


Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net


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