Game 1 of the Bledisloe Cup kicks off at 8:05pm this Saturday night as the Wallabies battle the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. We take a look at the big match and give our betting tips below!
Australia will be looking for an extremely rare 2nd straight win over the All Blacks after winning last year’s dead rubber. At Suncorp Stadium, the Wallabies prevailed 23-18, which ended a 7 game losing streak when playing the All Blacks. There’s also extra motivation for the Wallabies as they look to break a 16 year drought in terms of winning this elusive Cup. That starts with a good showing at ANZ this time, compared to the last result at this venue, which I’ll go into later.
The Wallabies come into this series on the back off a tough 3 game set against the Irish in June this year. Overall Ireland took the series 2-1, but all 3 games were decided by under 10 points. The key will be in defence where the Wallabies will need to show something against NZ. They allowed 54 points in the last clash at ANZ, which also kicked off the 2017 series. It was a record score for the All Blacks against the Wallabies to rub salt into their wounds. Not to mention an embarrassing (for Wallaby fans of course) 40-6 score-line at half-time.
Since losing to Australia last year, New Zealand has rattled off 6 straight wins. In their June series this year, they dominated the French with 3 easy victories. They outscored them 127-38 in the end. So they’ll head to ANZ with confidence. Especially looking at their record at this venue. As mentioned, they crushed the Wallabies 54-34 in the 2017 opener. In fact, they have comfortably won the last 2 here by a combined total of 96-42!
The concern for Australia once again, will be their lineup and major question marks on their defence. Firstly, Michael Cooper is an inspirational captain. However, he’s coming back from a 2 month layoff due to a hamstring injury sustained in the Irish series. They have also lost Tevita Kuridrani and Samu Kerevi in the centres. Which does open the door for Rona or Hodge to get a start. In the halves, they do have some consistency with Genia and Foley likely to be named. Foley had a great season with the Waratahs in Super Rugby and will have to be one of Australia’s best to get them over the All Blacks. Israel Folau is also expected to be named full-back. He’s played 60 straight tests at the position and I don’t expect that to change. He was also one of the main reasons why the Waratahs almost made the Super Rugby Grand Final.
New Zealand has named a strong lineup as usual. The likes of Luke Whitelock, Beauden Barrett and Sonny Bill Williams are back. They also get captain Keiran Read and Brodie Retallick back to strengthen their forward pack after they missed the French series. The halves should lineup with Aaron Smith and Barrett. While in the centres, Crotty and Leinert-Brown should start this test.
So in the end, I’m struggling to see a different result for the Wallabies at ANZ. New Zealand is paying $1.25 at BetEasy, which is a fair price and the line is currently set at 11.5 points. I can see New Zealand beating this line once again. But, Australia has lost the last 2 against NZ by 13+ at ANZ and that bet is paying $2, which should be good value for this clash. NZ has a 5-1 record against the 13+ margin in their last 6 tests. They have a settled lineup and since 2010, they’ve won 6 of 8 opening tests against the Wallabies.
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