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All Blacks vs Argentina
2018 Rugby Championship
|Trafalgar Park, Nelson|
The All Blacks are running red hot, and haven’t been challenged yet in this years edition of the Rugby Championship. Tonight, it will be Argentina who will be out to cause a major upset when the two sides clash at Trafalgar Park – join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 5:35pm AEST.
One look at the betting odds is indicative of what punters believe will be an extremely one-sided match-up.
These two sides have clashed 26 times, and the All Blacks have won every single one of those fixtures.
As $1.02 unbackable favourites, you would be brave to predict anything other than Steve Hansen’s men making it 27.
However, this is sport, and sport can sometimes do strange, strange things. Just ask the punter who casually dropped $32,000 on Roger Federer to beat John Millman at the US Open this week.
The Argies are entering this fixture on the back of a comprehensively solid 32-19 win over the Springboks. They have an enigmatic backline, and a forward pack that is always willing.
The scary thing for them is that they aren’t even the most in-form team heading into this fixture.
The All Blacks were simply stunning in their first two Bledisloe Cup encounters against a Wallabies side that had no answers for their suffocating and relentless style of play.
They’re averaging 39 points a game in this Rugby Championship, and will no doubt be keen to send that figure north this evening.
New Zealand have made seven changes to the side that flogged the Wallabies last start at Eden Park.
In the backs, Richie Mo’unga starts in place of Beauden Barrett who earns his rest. TJ Perenara comes into the side at halfback, while Nehe Milner-Skudder returns from a year-long absence in black.
In the forwards, Shannon Frizzell starts at 6, with Ardie Savea packing down on the opposite side at 7. Karl Tu’inkuafe starts at prop.
For Argentina, Martin Landajo returns at scrumhalf, whilst Jeronimo de la Fuenta replaces Bautista Ezcurra at inside-centre. Tomas Lezana starts at openside flanker in place of Pablo Matera.
This game will be similar to performances of the past between these two.
The new combinations for the All Blacks will feel out the Pumas for 40 minutes, and it will be close-ish at halftime. Then, Hansen’s men will put their foot down and kick on with it after the break to win by plenty.
All Blacks by 22
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:35pm AEST.
Where: Trafalgar Park, Nelson
When: Saturday 8th September – 5:35pm AEST
Betting: All Blacks $1.02, Argentina $16.00
15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 TJ Perenara; 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 2 Codie Taylor, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Brodie Retallick, 5 Scott Barrett, 6 Shannon Frizell, 7 Ardie Savea, 8 Kieran Read (c).
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo; 1 Santiago Garcia Botta, 2 Agustin Creevy (c), 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 4 Guido Petti, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 6 Tomas Lezana, 7 Marcos Kremer, 8 Javier Ortega Desio.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18 Gaston Cortes, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Pablo Matera, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Bautista Ezcurra, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia.