The following is a preview with betting tips for the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-final clash between Argentina and Australia. More details, including team sheets, will be added as they become available.
Note that the majority of this content is sourced from the 2015 Rugby World Cup Form Guides, Previews & Tips page.
Argentina vs. Australia
Twickenham Stadium, London
October 26, 2015
Kick-off at 3:00 AM
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Weather forecast: sunny
Argentina squad: 1. Marcos Ayerza, 2. Agustin Creevy (captain), 3. Ramiro Herrera, 4. Guido Petti, 5. Tomas Lavanini, 6. Pablo Matera, 7. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 8. Leonardo Senatore, 9. Martin Landajo, 10. Nicolas Sanchez, 11. Juan Imhoff, 12. Juan Martin Hernandez, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 14. Santiago Cordero, 15. Joaquin Tuculet. Replacements: 16. Julian Montoya, 17. Lucas Noguera, 18. Juan Figallo, 19. Matias Alemanno, 20. Facundo Isa , 21. Tomas Cubelli , 22. Jeronimo De La Fuente, 23. Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino
Australia squad: 1. James Slipper , 2. Stephen Moore (captain), 3. Sekope Kepu , 4. Kane Douglas , 5. Rob Simmons , 6. Scott Fardy , 7. Michael Hooper , 8. David Pocock , 9. Will Genia , 10. Bernard Foley , 11. Drew Mitchell , 12. Matt Giteau, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 15. Israel Folau . Replacements: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau , 17. Toby Smith , 18. Greg Holmes , 19. Dean Mumm, 20. Ben McCalman, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Matt Toomua , 23. Kurtley Beale
Preview: The Wallabies were the heaviest favourites of the four quarter-finals, but they only just managed to squeak past the spirited Scottish. Much was made of Craig Joubert’s incorrect penalty call with two minutes to play, but a lot of credit has to be given to Bernard Foley’s clutch kicking.
The Wallabies have won ten of their last eleven against Argentina, but that solitary defeat came just last year and Los Pumas have been playing well this tournament. At the time of writing there has been mixed news from training, with question marks over whether David Pocock, Israel Folou and Scott Sio will play. The Wallabies haven’t looked as strong in Pocock’s absence since they thrashed England. His work at the breakdown will be essential against the hardworking Argentinian forwards. Sio would also be a major loss against the physical Argentine pack, while Folou’s x-factor would be sorely missed.
Los Pumas have flown under the radar for most of the tournament. They pushed the All Blacks hard, losing 16-26 in their opening group stage fixture before defeating two of their three other opponents by larger margins than the All Blacks managed. They then comprehensively beat an understrength Irish side 43-20 in the quarter-finals. As we’ve seen with the Wallabies result against Scotland, you would have to be brave to write this fixture off as a foregone result. People may point to Argentina’s poor showing in this year’s Rugby Championship, but they fielded understrength squads this year and due to their lack of comparative depth to the other three nations they suffered for it. A better measure of them is their 2014 campaign, when they lost by 7 points to Australia before beating the Wallabies by 4 points on home soil.
On the injury front, captain and hooker Agustin Creevy pulled a hamstring against Ireland and could not train with the rest of the team on Tuesday, while Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe is also in doubt for this clash. In better news, centre Marcelo Bosch is available after sitting out a one-match suspension against Ireland while fly-half Nicolas Sanchez has escaped punishment for a forearm incident against Ireland.
Argentinian rugby has improved out of sight since the days when they played a conservative, forwards-dominated kicking approach. Some of the evolution to their backline game can be credited to former All Blacks coach Graham Henry, who has acted as an adviser since 2012. Nevertheless, the Argentine scrum has been very good this tournament and they are well adept at rolling mauls. The Wallabies pack will have their work cut out for them this weekend.
Many pundits point to the fact that the winner of the All Blacks vs. Springboks semi-final will come through battered and bruised, but should the Wallabies beat the physical Pumas they may have a number of walking wounded too.
Betting: at the time of writing the squads haven’t been announced, so I’m nervous about making the plunge until I know whether the trio of Pocock, Folou and Sio can play. All three are vital players for the Wallabies so their fitness could prove to be a tipping point. This article will be updated once more is known. The Wallabies squad isn’t due to be announced until Friday morning (GMT).
Betting tip: if Pocock, Folou and Sio DO play – back Australia 1-12 at 2.50 (Palmerbet)
Betting tip: if Pocock, Folou and Sio DON’T play – back Argentina 1-12 at 4.15 (Luxbet)
We now know that David Pocock and Israel Folou will play while Sio won’t. Pocock’s inclusion is crucial for Australia, so I will stick with the betting tip: back Australia 1-12 at 2.75 (Sportsbet) (note the updated odds).
Form Guide: Argentina
|2015-10-18||Ireland vs. Argentina||Win||20-43|
|2015-10-11||Argentina vs. Namibia||Win||64-19|
|2015-10-04||Argentina vs. Tonga||Win||45-16|
|2015-09-26||Argentina vs. Georgia||Win||54-9|
|2015-09-21||New Zealand vs. Argentina||Loss||26-16|
|2015-08-15||Argentina vs. South Africa||Loss||12-26|
|2015-08-08||South Africa vs. Argentina||Win||25-37|
|2015-07-25||Argentina vs. Australia||Loss||9-34|
Form Guide: Australia
|2015-10-19||Australia vs. Scotland||Win||35-34|
|2015-10-11||Australia vs. Wales||Win||15-6|
|2015-10-04||England vs. Australia||Win||13-33|
|2015-09-28||Australia vs. Uruguay||Win||65-3|
|2015-09-24||Australia vs. Fiji||Win||28-13|
|2015-09-05||USA vs. Australia||Win||10-47|
|2015-08-15||New Zealand vs. Australia||Loss||41-13|
|2015-08-08||Australia vs. New Zealand||Win||27-19|
H2H Guide: Argentina vs. Australia
|2015-07-25||Argentina vs. Australia||9-34|
|2014-10-04||Argentina vs. Australia||21-17|
|2014-09-13||Australia vs. Argentina||32-25|
|2013-10-05||Argentina vs. Australia||17-54|
|2013-09-14||Australia vs. Argentina||14-13|
|2012-10-06||Argentina vs. Australia||19-25|
|2012-09-15||Australia vs. Argentina||23-19|
Note: only league games are included. The above does not include preseason and cup fixtures.
|Team||Market||Last 6||Last 12||Last 18|
The above figures represent the net profit from wagering $1.00 on the associated selection each game.