The following is a preview of the Round 6 Rugby Championship clash between Argentina and Australia at the Estadio Gigante de Arroyito, in Rosario, Argentina. The game kicks off at 9.40 AM AEDT on Sunday, the 6th of October. The referee is Wayne Barnes from England.
The Wallabies have just the one win this competition while Los Pumas remain winless in the Rugby Championship. Below are each side’s 2013 Rugby Championship results so far.
South Africa 73-13 Argentina
Argentina 17-22 South Africa
New Zealand 28-13 Argentina
Australia 14-13 Argentina
Argentina 15-33 New Zealand
Australia 29-47 New Zealand
New Zealand 27-16 Australia
Australia 12-38 South Africa
Australia 14-13 Argentina
South Africa 28-8 Australia
The Wallabies have won the last seven fixtures between the two sides, however only two of those Tests were played Argentina. On Argentinian soil The Wallabies have a 4-1-3 record.
Centre Felipe Contepomi will set a new Pumas record of 87 caps after he got the nod over Santiago Fernandez. In one other change, Horacio Agulla comes in on the right wing in place of Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino. The forward back remains unchanged after a strong showing against the All Blacks last week.
15. Juan Martin Hernandez, 14. Horacio Agulla, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Felipe Contepomi, 11. Juan Imhoff, 10. Nicolas Sanchez, 9. Martin Landajo, 8. Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7. Pablo Matera, 6. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (captain), 5. Patricio Albacete, 4. Julio Faraacías Cabello, 3. Juan Figallo, 2. Eusebio Guiazaacú, 1. Marcos Ayerza.
Reserves: 16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Nahuel Lobo, 18. Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19. Manuel Carizza, 20. Benjamin Macome, 21. Tomas Cubelli, 22. Santiago Fernandez, 23. Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.
Will Genia returns to the starting line-up after he lifted the Wallabies in the second half last week. In one other change to the squad, Bernard Foley is in line to make his Test debut after being named on the bench at the expense of Chris Faeuai-Sautia.
15. Israel Folau, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Joe Tomane, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Ben Mowen, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Rob Simmons, 4. James Horwill (captain), 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. James Slipper
Reserves: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Benn Robinson, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Sitaleki Timani, 20. Ben McCalman, 21. Nic White, 22. Matt Toomua, 23. Bernard Foley
This fixture is a battle to avoid the wooden spoon in this year’s Rugby Championship. A massive gulf in class has opened up between the best and worst sides in this competition. The All Blacks and Springboks are on 23 and 18 points, respectively, while the Wallabies and Pumas languish behind on 4 and 2 points.
The Wallabies will be looking to bounce back from a comprehensive 28-8 loss to the Springboks last week. The damage was done in the first half, with a 20-point blitz in the space of ten minutes giving the Springboks a 20-3 lead by the 19th minute. The Wallabies tried to kick more and run less, but their execution was poor as they ended up being starved of possession and territory. Handling errors, a poor set-piece and ill-discipline at the break down cost them 26 turn overs as their efforts to get back into the game fell flat. While the second half score was 5-5, the Springboks had dropped off in intensity, although the Wallabies did well to deny them a bonus point win. Benn Robinson performed well on his return to the squad as he shored up the Wallabies scrum, which makes you wonder why he was left out in the first place. The Wallabies had better rhythm in attack once Will Genia was brought on, so it appears his standing as Australia’s first-choice halfback has been restored. Nic White is known for his kicking prowess so it may be that Genia’s return signals the Wallabies’ intention to return to a running game rather than the kicking game plan that backfired last week.
Argentina remain without a win in this competition, but they have been very competitive in recent fixtures. Last week they trailed by just two point at the break against the All Blacks courtesy of their strong set-piece. Their strength is in their forwards, and they will be taking on a side that had their forwards completely out-muscled by the Springboks at the breakdown last week.
All signs point to this being a close contest. While the Wallabies haven’t lost to Los Pumas since 1997, they only won by six points in Rosario last year and Argentina only fell by a point to Australia a few weeks ago in Perth. Worryingly for the Wallabies, they failed to add to their halftime score in Perth, with Los Pumas fighting back from 14-3 down to give them a real scare in the closing stages.
The head-to-head market for this fixture is fascinating, because some bookmakers have installed Los Pumas as the marginal favourite while others favour the Wallabies. I think this will be close, so I would back Argentina 1-12 at 2.88 (Sportsbet / IASbet).
You can compare the latest bookmaker odds for the Rugby Championship in the live bookmaker odds section.