Rugby Championship 2018: Argentina vs New Zealand Preview

Rugby Player standing with rugby ball in hand

New Zealand will be out for redemption when they travel to the Buenos Aires to take on Argentina on Sunday the 30th of September. 

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To Win
Argentina 5/1
Draw 35/1
New Zealand 1/8

Handicap
Argentina (+15.5) 9/10
New Zealand (-15.5) 9/10

The focus of the rugby world will fall firmly upon Buenos Aries on the early hours of Sunday morning as Mario Ledesma's charges will look to become the first Argentinian team in history to beat the All Blacks.

Of course, you really do expect New Zealand to come away with the win here, but you can't write off the South Americans. Especially not after the All Blacks defeat at the hands of the Springboks in Wellington two weeks ago. That tie was immediately followed by a cracking win for the Pumas down in Australia.

New Zealand are heavy favourites at 1/8 with the handicap set at a conservative 15.5. I fully expect the All Blacks to clear the handicap despite their showing against South Africa where they lost by two points in a match that saw Beauden Barrett miss 4/6 conversions.

Goal-kicking will certainly be at the forefront of Steve Hansen's mind over the last two weeks. Beauden Barrett - for all of his attacking flair - is culpable of having very poor off-days with the boot, as was the case at the Cake Tin two weeks ago. He's truly a world-class player and you wouldn't expect him to have another off day, even in front of a typically hostile South American crowd.

The Puma's desperate defense against Australia saw Israel Folau knock on at the hooter as he crashed into three defenders while he had an unmarked Bernard Foley to his outside ready to score. Mario Ledesma recorded his first win against Australia after the former Wallaby forwards coach returned to face his former employer.

Verdict: New Zealand (-15.5) 9/10
Argentina's adept backline and determined forward pack could see them put up more of a fight against a bruised All Blacks. But with history on the New Zealander's side, we could be in for another regulation bonus point victory and another Rugby Championship title. 

Stats and Facts
  • The last time New Zealand beat Argentina by less that 15 points was in the 2015 World Cup in London 26 - 16.
  • Argentina have never won a match against New Zealand from their 27 fixtures played.
  • In 1985 New Zealand and Argentina played to a draw.
  • New Zealand have won 100% of their scrums compared to Argentina's 75% in the tournament. 

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Writtern by Lungelo Mdladla for Hollywoodbets

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