The following is a preview with betting tips for the Rugby Championship Week 6 clash between Los Pumas and the Wallabies. The game kicks off at 9:30 AM AEST on Sunday the 5th of October. The venue is the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza and the referee is Nigel Owens from Wales.
|15 – Fullback||Joaquín Tuculet||Israel Folau|
|14 – Right Wing||Juan Imhoff||Adam Ashley-Cooper|
|13 – Outside Centre||Horacio Agulla||Tevita Kuridrani|
|12 – Inside Centre||Juan Martín Hernández||Matt Toomua|
|11 – Left Wing||Lucas González Amorosino||Joe Tomane|
|10 – Fly-half||Nicolás Sánchez||Bernard Foley|
|9 – Scrum Half||Martín Landajo||Nick Phipps|
|8 – Number Eight||Leonardo Senatore||Scott Higginbotham|
|7 – Openside Flanker||Benjamín Macome||Michael Hooper (c)|
|6 – Blindside Flanker||Rodrigo Báez||Scott Fardy|
|5 – Right Lock||Tomás Lavanini||James Horwill|
|4 – Left Lock||Mariano Galarza||Sam Carter|
|3 – Tighthead Prop||Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro||Sekope Kepu|
|2 – Hooker||Agustín Creevy (c)||Saia Fainga’a|
|1 – Loosehead Prop||Marcos Ayerza||James Slipper|
|16||Matías Cortese||Josh Mann-Rea|
|17||Bruno Postiglioni||Benn Robinson|
|18||Ramiro Herrera||Ben Alexander|
|19||Matías Alemanno||Will Skelton|
|20||Javier Ortega Desio||Jake Schatz|
|21||Tomás Cubelli||Matt Hodgson|
|22||Marcelo Bosch||Nic White|
|23||Jerónimo de la Fuente||Rob Horne|
Los Pumas have made five changes to the line-up that was comprehensively beaten by the All Blacks last week. In the backs, Horacio Agulla starts at outside centre at the expense of Marcelo Bosch, while Lucas González Amorosino starts on the left wing with Manuel Montero dropping out of the squad. After starting from the bench last week, regular halfback Martín Landajo returns to the starting line up with Tomás Cubelli dropping back to the bench.
In the forwards, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe has left the squad to join his wife and newborn child, so Benjamín Macome gets the start at openside flanker. The second change to the forward pack sees Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro start at tighthead prop with Ramiro Herrera dropping to the bench.
Kurtley Beale has been axed from the Wallabies squad after he was involved in an in-flight argument with a staff member. Beale had a poor performance off the bench last week, so he may have been dropped from the side anyway. Coach Ewen McKenzie has opted for a 6-2 split on the bench with Rob Horne and Nic White the only two backs in the reserves.
There are two injury-enforced changes to the forwards this week. Ben McCalman picked up a shoulder injury so Scott Higginbotham will start at No.8. In mixed concussion news, centre Matt Toomua has been passed fit to play after clearing concussion checks during the week, however lock Rob Simmons has been ruled out. James Horwill replaces Simmons in the second row with Will Skelton added to the bench. Saia Fainga’a gets another start at hooker this week. James Hanson has been dropped from the side with Josh Mann-Rea promoted to the bench.
The Wallabies come into this fixture with little more than pride to play for, with the All Blacks having already wrapped up the competition with a round to spare. Australia could theoretically finish the competition in 2nd place, however they will likely be focusing on finishing the competition with a win. The Wallabies kept up with the Springboks last week, leading 10-8 with 12 minutes to go, but the superior squad depth of the Springboks showed in the end as their substitutes came in to romp home with 20 unanswered points in the last 11 minutes. The poor impact of the Wallabies bench in Cape Town is the reason why only four of the eight-man bench from last week have been named in the squad.
Los Pumas haven’t beaten the Wallabies since 1997. Below are the most recent results between the two sides. Since the Rugby Championship began the Pumas have been more competitive against the Wallabies on Australian soil than they have been on home soil. This may be due to the fatigue factor because Argentina always host Australia in the final week of the competition.
2014: Australia 32 – 25 Argentina (Gold Coast)
2013: Argentina 17 – 54 Australia (Rosario)
2013: Australia 14 – 13 Argentina (Perth)
2012: Argentina 19 – 25 Australia (Rosario)
2012: Australia 23 – 19 Argentina (Gold Coast)
The Wallabies start as firm but not heavy favourites for this clash, with most bookmakers setting a line of +4.5 for Los Pumas. The Wallabies will have to contend with fronting up after a draining three-flight, 24-hour trek from Cape Town to Buenos Aires. They made 175 tackles last week, which was a hundred more than the Springboks had to, so the Wallabies fitness will be tested this week. The Wallabies will be pleased, however, that the highly experienced loose forwards duo of Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Jean Manuel Leguizamon are unavailable for this clash. For an Argentinian side that relies on its forwards to dominate matches, those two are major absentees this weekend.
At the time of writing the best available odds on the Wallabies are 1.56 with Sportingbet while Pinnacle Sports were offering 2.69 on Los Pumas. Click here to compare the latest Rugby Championship odds.
Despite the Kurtley Beale distraction and the tough travel schedule, the Wallabies should have enough in the tank to see off Argentina. They faced the same travel schedule last year and won 54-17, and while I don’t expect this clash to be nearly as one-sided, I would back the Wallabies in the head-to-head at 1.56 Sportingbet.
At the time of writing there’s an 80% chance of rain on Saturday, which will suit Argentina nicely. I expect this to be close so I would back the Wallabies 1-12 at 2.70 (Sportsbet).
If you were dropped on your head as a baby
Apart from their Tests against the All Blacks, Los Pumas have been competitive in the Rugby Championship this year, losing by 7, 2 and 7 points. I tip a winning scoreline for the Wallabies of around 6 points, so I would make the following wagers in the winning margin market: