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The Wallabies host the Pumas on Saturday night at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:45pm (AEDT).
In their last match of the year, it seems the Wallabies’ line-up and player combinations have settled in. Today, the Wallabies are bolstered by a couple of Queenslanders returning from injury.
Although Lukhan Salakaia-Loto comes in from the bench, he will probably come on strong and angry, wanting to finish off his opponents. Expect some fireworks.
James O’Connor is back to create more opportunities against the Pumas, an element the Wallabies lacked in their last match.
The Pumas have regained their captain Pablo Matera. But he will not be playing. Today, the Pumas have lost a player in each row due to social media controversy.
What they lack in lost firepower, they will make up for in tough defence and winning more turnovers. While they were unable to score any points last week against the All Blacks, Nicolas Sanchez is expected to play and to rack up some points. He has scored 40 points so far in this tournament.
Both Dave Rennie and Mario Ledesma’s teams have not yet delivered a consistent attack model. Having said that, the form of Ian Foster’s All Blacks has not been consistent either. But they seemed to have blown out some of the cobwebs last week.
The Wallabies have a good chance to do the same today. But they should never underestimate this well drilled opponent, bristling with talent and passion.
Due to the recent controversy and missing Matera, the Pumas are probably a greater disadvantage. The Wallabies’ set piece, especially the line out, should hold up today.
Both sides have excellent attacking potential. They both have pretty good defence. The first one to break will probably be vanquished. The Wallabies have a more settled side, and are expected to deliver the goods this time.
For the Pumas to score an upset, they need to amp up their attacking game and dominate the Wallabies’ bench in the breakdown again.
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
Kick-off: 7:45pm (AEDT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Nic Berry (Australia)
TMO: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Scott Sio, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Matt Philip, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Harry Wilson, Nic White, James O’Connor, Marika Koroibete, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Tom Wright, Reece Hodge. Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Angus Bell, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Rob Valetini, Jake Gordon, Irae Simone, Tom Banks.
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Julian Montoya, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Matias Alemanno, Marco Kremer, Santiago Grondona, Facundo Isa, Rodrigo Bruni, Felipe Ezcurra, Nicolas Sanchez, Emiliano Boffelli, Jeronimo de la Fuente (c), Matias Orlando, Bautista Delguy, Santiago Carreras. Reserves: Jose Luis Gonzalez, Mayco Vivas, Juan Pablo Zeiss, Lucas Paulos, Francisco Gorrissen, Gonzalo Bertranou, Domingo Miotti, Santiago Chocobares.