Argentina will get their first taste of international rugby in 2020 when they take on the All Blacks on Saturday the 14th of November.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
The All Blacks will be looking to bounce back from their Bledisloe 4 loss to Australia when they take on an Argentinian side that is yet to kick a ball in anger this year. The Kiwis head into this one as strong favourites with the bookmakers, and justly so as their players have played a ton of competitive rugby while the Argentines are likely to be extremely rusty.
New Zealand v Argentina
Saturday 14 November
To Win (80 Mins)
New Zealand 1/50
Handicap to be added on release.
New ZealandIan Foster’s men are currently at the top of the Rugby Championship standings having claimed six points from their opening two games against Australia. A full-strength side won their encounter with the old enemy 5-43 a fortnight ago. An experimental All Blacks outfit was unable to repeat the dose the following week as they went down 24-22 in a game that saw each side dealt a red card.
The question now is whether Foster will return his stalwarts to the run-on XV. I personally think the recently installed New Zealand mentor will keep it much the same as last weekend and field some of the fringe players as he looks to build depth heading into 2021. We could see the first choice halfback pairing reinstated, however, with Richie Mo’unga and Aaron Smith surely in Foster’s thoughts after Beauden Barrett and TJ Perrenarra put in rather underwhelming performances last weekend.
Los Pumas will undoubtedly head into Saturday’s clash extremely rusty. While they have played a couple fixtures here and there – most of these games were against South American minnows – the majority of their players haven’t played against quality opposition since the 2020 Super Rugby season was called off back in March.
While they have a number of factors against them, the Argentines do have one thing counting in their favour and that is that they’ll have a number of overseas-based players back in their ranks including Racing Metro winger Juan Imhoff and Nicholas Sanchez.
Whether or not this will be enough for them to compete with a well-drilled All Blacks outfit remains to be seen, although you can reasonably confident that the hosts will be too good for the South Americans.
Verdict: New Zealand minusI’m expecting the Argentines to really struggle. They’ve played hardly any rugby this term while the Kiwis are coming into this one off the back of a Super Rugby season and four Bledisloe Cup fixtures. I reckon we’ll see the New Zealanders secure a big win over a very rusty Los Pumas outfit.
Written by Darry Worthington.