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Argentina and New Zealand go head to head in the second of tonight’s Rugby Championship double header at Suncorp Stadium from 8:05pm AEST.
The Pumas know that they are up against it but will want to put in a much better performance than last week when they didn’t register a single point. Meanwhile, the All Blacks will want to show that even with 11 changes, they are still a fearsome side that cannot be stopped. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog starting from 7:50pm (AEST).
The post-match review for the Pumas this past week would have been a brutal session. There really weren’t many positives at all for the Argentinians to get excited about.
Coach Mario Ledesma has made six changes to his side including some positional swaps. Juan Martín González will start as blindside flanker as Pablo Matera moves to the back of the scrum. The usually dominant Matera was targeted from the kick-off by the All Blacks and had a very quiet game.
Also in the pack, enforcer Tomas Lavanini will start in the second row and will give the Pumas pack a bit more edge in the loose.
In the backs the big change sees Nicolas Sanchez injured and out of the matchday team altogether.
Santiago Carreras will take his place and be backed up by Domingo Miotti on the bench. The 23 year old Carreras has never played at fly half for the Pumas but was part of the team that beat the All Blacks last year. Ledesma will be hoping his pack gets his young playmaker some quick, clean ball to settle himself early in the game.
Santiago Cordero shifts from the left to the right-wing in place of Bautista Delguy and Emiliano Boffelli comes off the bench to wear the no.11 jersey.
Outside Carreras will be a new centre partnership with Santiago Chocobares combining with Lucio Cinti.
Argentina must find a way to get into the game early. Last week the All Blacks had so much possession in the first half and the Argentine side were forced to make a huge number of tackles deep in their own half. This week the Pumas must get hold of the ball, hang on to it and build some pressure on the Kiwis.
Ian Foster has made even more changes – 11 in total as a new look All Blacks side will run out on Saturday. The All Blacks coached explained that “With five Tests in a row and a six-day turnaround between these two Argentinian Tests, we were always going to make some selection changes.”
The biggest one sees Damian McKenzie start at fly half. If the Pumas give him too much time and space he’s proven that he can slice teams apart but it’ll be interesting to see how he balances his running, passing and kicking game, especially in the first half.
The Kiwi pack has been switched over completely with Hoskins Sotutu and Ethan Blackadder joining Ardie Savea who will skipper the side. Tupou Vaa’i and Patrick Tuipulotu will be the starting locks and Tyrel Lomax, Samisoni Taukei’aho and Joe Moody will be the front row.
A new look Argentina won’t mean a new look to the scoreboard. The Pumas will get on the scoreboard this week but they won’t trouble it that much and the Kiwis will run away with another win.
All Blacks by 18.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 8:05pm (AEST)
Live stream: Stan Sport
Betting: New Zealand $1.01, Argentina $15.00 – odds via PlayUp
Referee: Jaco Peyper
15. Juan Cruz Mallia, 14. Santiago Cordero, 13. Lucio Cinti, 12. Santiago Chocobares, 11. Emiliano Boffelli, 10. Santiago Carreras, 9. Gonzalo Bertranou, 8. Pablo Matera, 7. Marcos Kremer, 6. Juan Martín González, 5. Tomas Lavanini, 4. Matias Alemanno, 3. Santiago Medrano, 2. Julian Montoya (c), 1. Facundo Gigena
16. Santiago Socino, 17. Carlos Muzzio, 18. Enrique Pieretto, 19. Guido Petti, 20. Tomás Lezana, 21. Gonzalo Garcia, 22. Domingo Miotti, 23. Matias Moroni
15. Jordie Barrett, 14. Will Jordan, 13. Rieko Ioane, 12. Quinn Tupaea, 11. George Bridge, 10. Damian McKenzie, 9. TJ Perenara, 8. Hoskins Sotutu, 7. Ardie Savea (capt), 6. Ethan Blackadder, 5. Tupou Vaa’i, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 2. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1. Joe Moody
16. Codie Taylor, 17. George Bower, 18. Ofa Tuungafasi, 19. Scott Barrett, 20. Luke Jacobson, 21. Finlay Christie, 22. Beauden Barrett, 23. Braydon Ennor