Rugby Championship 2019: Australia v New Zealand Preview

Rugby player holds ball

Australia and New Zealand will go head-to-head in the final round of the 2019 Rugby Championship on Saturday the 10th of August.

Australia play host to New Zealand in the final round of the Rugby Championship this coming Saturday.

This will be a mammoth clash with the New Zealander's needing a win to keep themselves in the hunt for the Rugby Championship title. The game is also the first of the two Bledisloe Cup clashes between the sides and a win for New Zealand would see them retain trans-Tasman bragging rights for a 17th straight year.

Australia v New Zealand
Saturday 10 August
Perth Oval
11:45

To Win (80 Mins)

Australia 15/4
Draw 25/1
New Zealand 1/5


Handicap
Australia (+12.5) 9/10

New Zealand (-12.5) 9/10

Australia
Australia will be looking to build on their 16-10 Round 2 victory over Argentina when they take on an All Blacks side that has yet to hit their straps this term.

The hosts actually have an outside chance of winning the tournament but would need to beat the Kiwis and hope South Africa fail to pick up a point from their clash with Argentina. This is a very unlikely scenario, however, as Australia's last victory over New Zealand came back in 2015.

Coach Michael Cheika is also still searching for his best XV and we could well see a few new combinations tested at the Perth Oval this weekend.

New Zealand
The All Blacks have been far from vintage this term with a narrow opening-round 16-20 away victory over Argentina being followed up by a 16-16 draw with the 'Boks in Wellington.

There are a number of mitigating factors for the All Blacks poor showing in the Rugby Championship. They are still experimenting with a new attacking system which is designed to create space not only in the wider channels but also through the middle of the park. This system may hinge on having two pivots on the field and this is why they played Beauden Barrett at fullback during Round 2. They actually have been working on this system for the past 18 months or so but had a spanner thrown in the works with the long term injury to Damien McKenzie.

There are signs that this attacking structure may well reap dividends as they managed to find huge holes in both the South African and Argentine defences but they were unable to exploit these due to poor decision making.

With the Rugby Championship on the line, coach Steve Hansen may well revert to his strongest starting XV, with the Barrett/Richie Mounga double-pivot combination likely to be put on ice until next week's second Bledisloe clash.

Verdict: New Zealand (-12.5) 9/10
This is likely to be a high octane game with the All Blacks searching for a bonus-point win to really put the pressure on the South Africans, who take on Argentina later on in the day. I can see the All Blacks finally clicking into gear here and taking this one by more than 13 points.


Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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