Australia, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand will kick off the 2019 Rugby Championship this weekend with two big games! Matta91 is here to check out both matchups and give his best bets for the weekend below.
The Rugby Championship begins on early Sunday morning as the Springboks host the Wallabies at Ellis Park. Australia will be after their first victory at this venue since 1963 and this will be their first trip here since 2008. Interestingly, South Africa have opted to send a number of their starters to New Zealand for next week’s clash against the All Blacks. So the Springboks depth will be tested in this one. Their record at home against the Wallabies is very good with 35 wins in 46 games. However, there hasn’t been a huge blowout in the last 3 and with South Africa basically fielding a B team, the Wallabies are a good chance of an upset. Michael Cheika is yet to name the lineup for this game but it looks like halfback Nic White will be back in the starting lineup. He hasn’t played for the Wallabies for around 4 years but he’s been in great touch over in English Rugby. Ultimately, the Wallabies have performed well in South Africa with an average losing margin of just 5.6 points over the last 3 matchups. Last season, they went down 23-12 in Port Elizabeth and previously drew 27-27 in 2017. So it’s looking like a close affair and the either team bet is paying good value.
In Argentina on Sunday morning, the Pumas will take on the All Blacks in what should be an intriguing clash. The Pumas haven’t beaten the All Blacks in Rugby history with 27 defeats and 1 draw in 28 meetings. But looking at the Jaguares form in Super Rugby, they should be confident of breaking that record in 2019. The Jaguares made it all the way to the final and while they couldn’t get past the Crusaders, most of their lineup was full of International experience. For the All Blacks, they have the World Cup in their sights and as such, they have been resting star players throughout the Super Rugby season and they won’t take a full strength squad to Argentina. Although, their depth is still strong as you would expect with an All Blacks side that had four out of five teams qualify for the Super Rugby finals. In the end, this is a key buildup game for the Pumas before the World Cup and they won’t be backing down despite never beating the All Blacks. This should be a close contest and I’ll back the home side to cover the line.
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