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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

All Blacks have the edge over South Africa

Australia can sink Argentina

New Zealand's Kieran Read (right)
1 of 1

South Africa v New Zealand
Sky Sports Action, 4.05pm Saturday
Argentina v Australia
Sky Sports Action, 11.40pm Saturday

New Zealand have already wrapped up a sixth Rugby Championship title in seven years but there should still be strong final effort from the All Blacks in Pretoria and they are taken to edge South Africa by one to 12 points.

The back-to-back world champions will be determined to avoid a second defeat of the campaign to the Springboks because with less than a year until their bid for a hat-trick of World Cups begins in Japan, they will not want to show their rivals any weaknesses.

South Africa's 36-34 win in Wellington in round four can be put down to Kiwi overconfidence, poor decision-making and a bad day with the boot from Beauden Barrett. However, a second defeat would see questions asked and the Boks' Westcap victory would be seen as more than underdogs getting lucky.

New Zealand's 35-17 success in Argentina last Saturday was precisely the response that head coach Steve Hansen demanded. His reshuffled pack dominated the Pumas at the set-piece and the breakdown, their defensive structures were solid until the game was won, the backline sparkled in space and Barrett was perfect with his kicks.

Kingpin number eight Kieran Read and stalwarts Aaron Smith and Owen Franks are among the returnees and their squad are used to the demands of playing at altitude from Super Rugby.

South Africa confirmed their upward curve under Rassie Erasmus with their 23-12 win over Australia in Port Elizabeth. However, it took another huge defensive effort to keep out the Wallabies and while Francois Louw is back, they may run out of gas trying to prevent a fourth straight Kiwi win in the Rainbow Nation.

Argentina beat Australia 23-19 on the Gold Coast in round four but the Wallabies are worth a wager to exact revenge in Salta.

Israel Folau inexplicably dropped the ball over the line when attempting to score a late winning try in the first game. Aussie head coach Michael Cheika has ended his experiment with Kurtley Beale at fly-half.

The Wallabies dominated possession and territory in their defeat in South Africa and have won four of their five Rugby Championship meetings with the Pumas in Argentina, scoring 34 points or more on three occasions. 

Recommendations
New Zealand to win by one to 12 points
1pt 2-1 Betfair 
Australia
1pt 9-8 188Bet


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Argentina beat Australia 23-19 on the Gold Coast in round four but the Wallabies are worth a wager to exact revenge in Salta
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