Australia and Argentina round off the Southern Hemisphere showcase on Sunday. Much has been made of the Wallabies’ improved scrum courtesy of Argentine forward coach Mario Ledesma, but they creaked against the Scots and weren’t altogether invincible when they took on Wales, either.
They’ll be put to the test in the set-piece by Argentina, who have remained strong in that area.
What the Pumas have added, particularly since their inclusion in the Rugby Championship, is real conviction and consistency in the backline.
Unlike Argentina’s previous World Cup semi-final appearance, when their path through the quarter-finals was blocked by merely a limited Scotland team, this year they’ve blown away Six Nations champions Ireland.
A couple of rampant Australia victories aside, tussles between this pair tend to be quite close. In the seven games since Argentina joined the expanded Tri Nations, five have been decided by seven points or less.
Having said that, six of the seven matches have gone the way of Australia. Plus, with Michael Hooper and, if fit, David Pocock starving the Argentine backs of quick ball, it could be a tough afternoon for the men in light blue.
Sporting Index have Australia’s supremacy at 5-8, which is worth a buy.
Neither team are shy of the try line, which urges me to buy total tries at 5 with Sporting Index.
Australia have 22 in the tournament so far and Argentina, with 26, are second only to the All Blacks. But, with so much at stake, it’s important to get the scoreboard ticking.
Sportingbet are 7/5 on the first score being an Australia penalty and I’ll take that price.
First score Australia penalty 7/5 (Sportingbet)
Buy Australia supremacy 8 (Sporting Index)
Buy total tries 5 (Sporting Index)