The Rugby Championship Preview – Week 4

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After half of the tournament, the 2018 Rugby Championship has, like most years, become about who will finish second to the dominant All Blacks.

With three rounds completed, the Kiwi side are undefeated and averaging a 25 point margin of victory while Australia, South Africa and Argentina are locked in a tight race for second spot.

This week is the last for games conducive to the Australian and New Zealand time zones with the final two rounds taking place in South Africa and Argentina.

Read on for the previews of both games this weekend and our recommended plays.

New Zealand
Vs
South Africa

Saturday 15 September, 5:30pm, Westpac Stadium

A bonus point win for the All Blacks would secure another Rugby Championship title for the All Blacks with two rounds to spare and allow them to celebrate in front of their home fans.

In this decade the only side to beat the All Blacks in Wellington was the British and Irish Lions with the prior defeat at that ground coming against England in 2003.

South Africa has not enjoyed playing in New Zealand lately suffering a 41-13 loss in 2016 followed by a demoralising 57-0 defeat last year.

After giving some of their top line players a week off against Argentina, expect the All Blacks to be back, firing and ready to come back with another big win over the Springboks.

Back New Zealand to Cover the Line (-21.5)

Australia
Vs
Argentina

Saturday 15 September, 8:00pm, CBus Super Stadium

There was a palpable sense of relief around Suncorp Stadium last week as the Wallabies ended their four game losing run against South Africa.

Argentina did what most sides do in New Zealand and fell by double digits but were hardly disgraced by their efforts and that should serve as a warning shot for the Wallabies that they can’t take the one-time easybeats of the competition lightly.

In the modern era, Australia has never lost to Argentina at home however have had their share of struggles including both times they have played at Robina.

When they played on the Gold Coast for the first time in 2012 Australia scrapped to a 23-19 victory and two years later battled to a 32-25 win, neither of which could be described as easy.

While a big win would go a long way to instilling confidence in the team ahead of their tour to South Africa and Argentina, it is hard to see them having the firepower to put up too many points against a spirited Argentine side.

Back Australia to Win by 1-12

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