New Zealand will be expected to bounce back emphatically when they take on Argentina for the first time in the Tri-Nations Series. The All Blacks were shocked in an upset by Australia 24-22 in their last outing.
The New Zealand rugby public don’t enjoy their side losing, and two consecutive losses would be a tough pill for them to swallow. The All Blacks have not lost consecutive matches since 2011.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster gambled against Australia, with several changes to his side that the defeated the Aussies by 37-points in game three of the Bledisloe Cup. Playmaker Richie Mo’unga is set to play this week, with Beauden Barrett likely to return to fullback. Mo’unga scored 23-points in Sydney but was rested last week for the match in Brisbane.
The All Blacks will lose prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi to suspension, for possibly their last two matches against Argentina. Tu’ungafasi was controversially red-carded for a high tackle on Wallabies winger Tom Wright in the Brisbane match.
Argentina are yet to kick a ball in anger in the Tri-Nations Rugby Championships. The Pumas were forced into an extended quarantine period to comply with COVID restrictions. Argentina have had the opportunity for some match practice with consecutive wins over an Australian A side.
Argentina were unable to participate in Super Rugby in 2020 due to COVID restrictions and will understandably be rusty against an All Blacks side intent on bouncing back with a victory.
Argentina have never beaten the All Blacks in 27 attempts, with the only bright spot being a 21-all draw in 1985. These two sides last met in Buenos Aires, Argentina before the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. The All Blacks were able to edge out Argentina, to record a scrappy 20-16 win. Argentina will struggle against a New Zealand side searching for redemption and the chance to clinch the Tri-Nations trophy.
Bledisloe Cup Game Four Odds
Argentina – 8.50
New Zealand – 1.08
Tip – New Zealand to win by 15+ points
Odds courtesy of Sportsbet.com.au