Bookies wallies to favour Wallabies

The Rugby Championship

Rugby Union
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Published: 05/10/2012

There is something seriously wrong with the Wallabies and it is likely to see them lose to the Pumas and place incredible pressure on Robbie Deans to stand down as their coach.

Bookmakers have chalked up Australia as the slight favourite for its sixth and final Rugby Championship match, an away game against Argentina, but listen to the Wallabies and you will find them in disagreement with the odds compilers.

In a comment that provides an insight into the bleak outlook of Australia`s rugby union players, Wallabies centre Pat McCabe told reporters that he thought that the Pumas deserved to be favourites for the match in Rosario.

McCabe is right - Australia is playing poorly and its injury list is so long that it has a stronger side unavailable than the one that will line up versus Argentina - but to hear a senior Wallabies star be so negative in public is amazing.

Australia`s backs selected to start on Saturday are almost unrecognisable from the ones picked for the first Rugby Championship round and its forwards, also down on stocks, face the fight of their lives against a Pumas pack rated by many pundits, including All Blacks and Springboks, as the best eight-man unit in the southern hemisphere tournament.

The Wallabies have regressed since sneaking home 23-19 over Argentina at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast three weeks ago so, with the Pumas enjoying home advantage and much better luck with regards to injuries, the South Americans deserve strong favouritism. They represent terrific value at odds against, with home win prices as big as 6-5 available.

Saturday`s game is not the first time that Argentina and Australia have met in Pumas territory. It will be the eighth meeting of the nations, with the honours even at three wins apiece and one draw. Given everything, it is crazy that the Wallabies are odds on to win 12,000 kilometres from home.

One would expect Argentina to take it to Australia from the beginning, with the passionate cries of 40,000 fans urging them on. Therefore, there is a good case for backing the Pumas to beat the Wallabies by leading at both half time and full time, an option that is trading at around 9-5.

Also worth a second look is the market on the first scoring play. Neither Argentina nor Australia seems likely to score many tries and the first scoring play when they met on the Gold Coast was a Pumas penalty. One can back a repeat of that at around 15-8. That is not the worst bet, either.

South Africa and New Zealand lock horns in the other Rugby Championship match on Saturday. The All Blacks are around 1-2 to triumph in Soweto, with the Springboks receiving around six points on the majority of handicap lines.

New Zealand is trying to become the sixth team to go through a Tri Nations/Rugby Championship season unbeaten, with the five sides to achieve the feat being the All Blacks of 1996, 1997, 2003 and 2010 and the South Africa team of 1998.

So good are the betting opportunities in the Rosario game that punters ought to concentrate on that one and let the Soweto match take place without a financial involvement.


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