The 2013 edition of the Rugby Championship has begun in fine fashion, with the first two rounds of games being completed with two sides, New Zealand and South Africa, bringing home two victories each. This weekend sees the All Blacks hosting Argentina, whilst the Springboks begin their Australasian tour with a trip to Brisbane, where they have never won before. The pick of the weekend will be the game at Suncorp Stadium, with the All Blacks expected to easily overcome the Puma challenge in Hamilton earlier on Saturday.
Rugby Championship Odds
The All Blacks (1/66) put in two very impressive performances against the Wallabies on their way to securing their eleventh consecutive Bledisloe Cup against their trans-Trasman rivals and reinforcing their status as the world’s current best rugby side over the last few weeks. The Pumas (20/1), meanwhile, were comprehensively brushed aside in their opening tournament fixture in South Africa, before putting in a better performance at home a week later, losing narrowly to the same Springbok side. They won’t be expected to push the All Blacks too far, however, and the 26-point handicap given to New Zealand for Saturday’s game at 10/11 offers very good value for punters. Expect that margin to rise during the course of the week, so get on that as soon as possible.
The crunch game of the weekend will be between the Wallabies (27/50) and the Springboks (6/4), then. South Africa have never won in Brisbane in seven attempts, but will be eyeing a first win very closely on Saturday. New Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has had a baptism of fire in his new role with two games against the mighty All Blacks first up and will be looking for his side to bounce back against an oddly-composed Springbok side. ‘Oddly-composed’ as there are elements in this Springbok side that do not seem to match, or perhaps it could be put down to the fact that one third of the travelling party are now plying their trade overseas, and have had to travel from all corners of Europe into Brisbane this week. In any event, it is not a side that has seen a lot of each other in the last year. Australia enter the game with a negligible four-point handicap, but a lot will depend on how these sides come together on the day. This one is a bit more difficult to call, but home ground advantage pushes it in favour of the Wallabies, I would think.
Visit the official tournament website to keep up with the weekend’s games.