Rugby Championship Betting: New Zealand v Argentina
There are a few key men missing for the All Blacks and Geoffrey Riddle thinks this may be closer than many expect
"It could well pay to swim against the tide and expect another low-scoring, battling victory for New Zealand."
• New Zealand have won 12 matches in succession. Only two of those have been by less than a converted try - France in the World Cup final and against Ireland in June when New Zealand won 22-19.
• Argentina have nine players in their starting line-up who currently ply their trade in France. Gonzalo Camancho is the only Pumas player in the starting XV who has not played any club rugby in France.
• Argentina can call on 12 of the players who went down 33-10 to New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final. New Zealand field eight players who started that contest.
New Zealand put in a magnificent performance to beat Australia 22-0 a fortnight ago in the Rugby Championship and rugby traders should once again consider the likelihood of another low-scoring match when the All Blacks take on Argentina on Saturday in Wellington.
New Zealand grabbed the Bledisloe Cup with an effort that saw them continually off-loading and the number of Wallaby defenders they beat was an embarrasement for coach Robbie Deans. Australia were never in the match at all, but it is a credit to the players that they only leaked one try. The Pumas are going to be up against it but the high street layers are unsure as to how much by and quotes of between 25 and 28 illustrate this.
Graham Henry, so long the wise guide of the All Blacks, has been working for Argentina in an advisory role for months, however, and will have the full dossier on each All Black player at hand.
Dan Carter´s omission from the home side due to injury is another cruel blow to those who hope for a land-slide victory for the world champions, especially in light of the return of Argentina playmaker Juan Martin Hernandez.
As such, it is difficult to see what better chance Argentina would have at keeping the scores down and it could well pay to swim against the tide and expect another low-scoring, battling victory for New Zealand.