Rugby Championship Round 3
Australia v South Africa
|Australia vs South Africa
Saturday 7 :50pm (AEST)
at Subiaco Oval, Perth
|Best Bet: Wallabies WIN ($1.70)
Value Bet: Wallabies 1-12 ($2.70)
The Wallabies will host their second ‘home’ test match of the Rugby Championship against their old foes from South Africa. They shouldn’t however expect too much support from the crowd with the ARU’s decision to cut the Force leaving half the rugby loving public in Perth salty and promising to wear Blue in protest, whilst the other half happen to be South African ex pats who will be decked out in emerald green and baying for Wallaby blood.
Four changes to the Wallabies side that went oh so close in New Zealand. Three big inclusions up front with Tatafu Polota-Nau replacing Stephen Moore whose wife is due with their 3rd child. Sekope Kepu has been preferred at tighthead prop over Alan Alaalatoa, while hometown hero Adam Coleman returns from injury in place of Rob Simmons. The devastating news out of camp Wallaby midweek was the season ending injury to Dane Haylett-Petty, he is replaced on the right wing by Reece Hodge.
Two changes for the Bokke with gun half Ross Cronje returning from injury forcing Francois Hougaard to the pine. Whilst in the second row Franco Mostert has been rested giving an opportunity for the Stormers Pieter Du Toit to partner Eben Etzebeth in the 2 row.
Last time they met
1st October 2016 – South Africa 18 – 10 Australia
Stat that matters
The Wallabies love hosting the Springboks and have won 7 of their last 8 at home against the men from the republic.
Key Match- up
Eben Etzebeth vs Adam Coleman
It’s no secret that Springbok rugby is all about the men up front. Led by their skipper and key enforcer Eben Etzebeth, South Africa bashed Argentina out of both their games in the Rugby Championship. If the Wallabies have a chance of inflicting the first loss all year on the Springboks they will need to stand up in the engine room. Adam Coleman has proven in his short test career that he will not take a backward step and the wolf is predicting that he will ruffle a few South African feathers on Saturday night.
The Springboks have made a frightening return to form in 2017 comprehensively beating France 3-0 in June before opening their Rugby Championship campaign with two dominant victories over the Pumas. The first 4 tests of 2017 didn’t exactly fill Wallabies supporters with much hope for the future, but then, against all odds, they came within 2 and half minutes of beating the All Black after scoring 5 tries in Dunedin.
How it’s shaping
Despite all the news in the lead-up focussing on the Western Farce… I mean Western Force, Saturday nights test match promises to be an absolute cracker between two resurgent attacking Rugby sides. As good as the Wallabies were in Dunedin it will mean absolutely nothing if they come out in Perth and don’t perform. The Springboks forwards have the potential to cause real problems for the Wallabies, particularly at scrum and lineout time, but the wolf is predicting the men in gold will bring the attacking flair from Dunedin to Perth and the Wallabies will get home in a tight one.
Australia by 2..
New Zealand v Argentina
|New Zealand vs Argentina
Saturday 5:35pm (AEST)
at Yarrow Stadium, Taranaki
|Best Bet: All Blacks -30.5 ($1.90)
Value Bet: First points NZ penalty goal ($4.25)
The Pumas will be keen to show their worth to the Rugby Championship when they face the All Blacks in New Plymouth.
7 new faces from the All Blacks side that scraped past the Wallabies in Duendin two weeks ago, with a number of regulars rested by Steve Hansen. Luke Romano makes his first start of the year at lock partnering Brodie Retallick. Vaea Fifita will add to his 1 test at blindside flanker in place of the inform Liam Squire. TJ Perenara starts at number 9 with Anton Lienert Brown coming into partner SBW in the centres. The the big inclusion sees Nehe Milner Skudder will play his first test since the RWC making up a scintillating back three with Israel Dagg and Damien McKenzie.
A number of changes to the Argentinean side with coach Daniel Hourcade wielding the axe after two disappointing first up performances. In the tight five Guido Petti comes back into the second row while in the back row Javier Ortega Desio and Benjamin Macome have been named to start. In the backs, Nicholas Sanchez returns to direct traffic from flyhalf in place of veteran Juan Martin Hernandez, Matias Moroni comes into the centres to replace Matias Orlando and gun winger Santiago Cordero will start his first game of the tournament on the right wing.
Last time they met
1 October 2017 Bueno Aires – New Zealand 36 – 17 Argentina
Stat that matters
Of the 24 meetings between the two nations New Zealand have won 23, with the other result being a famous draw in Bueno Aires in 1985.
Santiago Cordeo vs Nehe Milner- Skudder
The two men with the fancy footwork return on Saturday night and the wolf couldn’t be more excited. Both players have the sort of X-factor to score tries from nowhere and will desperate to show they haven’t lost any of the magic that had tongues wagging just under 2 years ago at the Rugby World Cup.
Argentina have been extremely disappointing in 2017 winning just the won game against Georgia in June which has led many people to question whether their involvement within SANZAR is benefitting them as they appear to be moving backwards both internationally and domestically. There is no better way to proving the doubters wrong by sticking it to the All Blacks on New Zealand soil. The All Blacks were tremendous against the Wallabies in Sydney before producing a rare off performance in Dunedin. They were good enough to win however, and prove that it is no easy task to knock off the World champions.
How it’s shaping
As much as the Wolf would like to see his Argentinean mates give it to the men from across the ditch he just can’t see it happening on Saturday evening. The All Blacks will win and win comfortably in New Plymouth
All Blacks by 32