Argentina centre Santiago Fernandez has admitted his side must be at their very best for the full 80 minutes on Sunday, if they want to cause a massive upset against New Zealand on Sunday (Argentina 5/1, draw 25/1, New Zealand 2/15 Match Betting with bet365).
The Pumas host the world champions this weekend, following some impressive performances in their first campaign amongst the elite teams on the Southern Hemisphere.
Argentina have looked particularly strong on home soil, with their best result coming against South Africa as the South American outfit held the Springboks to a 16-16 draw.
However Fernandez and his fellow Argentines are now preparing to take on the unbeaten All Blacks (6/4 2015 World Cup outright with bet365) and the centre knows how touch it will be against the Kiwis.
He said: “We have to play for the full 80 minutes.
“In the last two matches we failed to maintain intensity. We have to improve this.
“We have to play a perfect game, given they are the world champions and the best team in the world. We have to play tough defence and take advantage of the few chances we get. They don’t make many mistakes, and we have to be ready to capitalise when they do.”
Tags: all blacks, Argentina, Australia, new zealand, rugby betting, Rugby Championship odds, rugby match bets, rugby union betting, Santiago Fernandez, South Africa
Tri Nations | Rugby Union Betting News | September 28, 2012 13:35 |
Australia hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau says Argentina have the best pack in the competition ahead of Saturday’s Test on the Gold Coast (Australia 2/11, tie 25/1, Argentina 4/1 match result with bet365).
The Pumas have made a real impression in the inaugural Rugby Championship, despite being unable to register a win in their opening three matches.
Argentina have fallen to defeats in New Zealand and South Africa, while they held the Springboks to a 16-16 draw on home soil in Mendoza.
They may sit at the bottom of the pack at the midway point in the tournament, but Polota-Nau believes Argentina can boast the best forwards in the Four Nations.
“It’s on par (with the rest of the sides), but if anything better,” Polota-Nau told AAP.
“They probably have the stats for the highest turnovers and it’s because of all their forwards working so well in the defensive area and jackling and creating such a mess at the breakdown.
“Technically if we’re not sound we’ll get punished. So as a contest it’s on par or if not better because I think from (numbers) one to eight they can all be jacklers.”
Australia’s hopes of winning the championship (12/1 to win outright with bet365) are slim following back-to-back defeats by world champions New Zealand in their opening two matches.
The Wallabies gave themselves a chance with a 26-19 victory over South Africa in Perth last weekend, but the rampant All Blacks appear odds-on to land another piece of silverware.
Tags: Argentina, Australia, Gold Coast, Mendoza, new zealand, Rugby Championship betting, rugby odds, rugby union betting, South Africa, Tatafu Polota-Nau, wallabies
Tri Nations | Rugby Union Betting News | September 13, 2012 15:46 |
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen admits he is satisfied with his charges’ performance in the Rugby Championship but feels there is still room for improvement ahead of the clash with South Africa (New Zealand 1/50, S Africa 18/1 Tournament Outright with bet365).
The Kiwis head into the weekend encounter with three wins from their first three games, following back-to-back triumphs over Australia and a hard-fought success against Argentina last time out.
South Africa have won one, drawn one and lost to Australia in their last match at the weekend and so need to claim the spoils to close the five-point gap to the table-toppers.
But they are massive underdogs to win the match, with the World Cup winners proving why they are still the best in the business in the tournament to date (New Zealand 1/10, S Africa 6/1, draw 33/1 Match Prices with bet365).
And worryingly for the opposition, Hansen feels there is still scope for his men to get even better as a unit.
“At the halfway stage of the Rugby Championship we are very happy, from a results point of view,” he said.
“There is a second challenge we have set ourselves, to constantly improve our game and in that regard we are not the finished product.”
Hansen has made a few changes to his starting XV with Piri Weepu set to make his first start since last year’s World Cup.
In the pack Sam Whitelock replaces Brodie Retallick at lock, Liam Messam comes in at blind side flanker and hooker Andrew Hore is selected in place of veteran Keven Mealamu.
Tags: all blacks, Andrew Hore, Argentina, Australia, Brodie Retallick, Keven Mealamu, Piri Weepu, Rugby Championship, Rugby Championship betting, rugby match bets, rugby union odds, Sam Whitelock, South Africa, steve hansen
Tri Nations | Rugby Union Betting News | 12:51 |
Australia full-back Kurtley Beale has been dropped for his side’s Rugby Championship encounter with New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday (New Zealand 1/10, draw 33/1, Australia 6/1 Match Betting with bet365).
The Melbourne Rebels back endured a torrid time in Sydney last weekend, as the All Blacks got their tournament off to a positive start with a 27-19 victory.
Beale was guilty of a flimsy tackle to allow his opposite number Israel Dagg cross the whitewash to score last weekend and the 23-year-old has paid the price and will start the next encounter with New Zealand at Eden Park on the bench.
Adam Ashley-Cooper has been moved from the wing to full-back to fill the void, with Drew Mitchell coming into the starting XV on the wing.
Quade Cooper has been brought in at No.10 and will be looking to add some creative flair, with Berrick Barnes moving to the inside centre role.
Barnes will have a tough test on his hands with Ma’a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams starting in the centres for the All Blacks.
The Wallabies (14/1 Rugby Championship outright with bet365) are on the verge of losing the Bledisloe Cup for the 10th consecutive year and will have to record their first win at Eden Park since 1986 this weekend if they are to stop the All Blacks claiming the title.
Tags: adam ashley-cooper, Australia, drew mitchell, israel dagg, kurtley beale, new zealand, quade cooper, rugby championship betting and odds, rugby league betting, rugby union odds
Tri Nations | Rugby Union Betting News | August 24, 2012 13:37 |
Argentina (250/1 to win 2012 Rugby Championship with bet365) captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe admits the Pumas will need to lift their intensity if they are to compete with the sport’s heavyweights in the inaugural Rugby Championship.
Argentina struggled to match South Africa in their opener in Cape Town on Saturday and fell to a 27-6 defeat. The Springboks crossed three times at Newlands through Zane Kirchner, Marcell Coetzee and Bryan Habana, while Morne Steyn added 12 points with the boot. Argentina could only manage two penalties in response.
Despite the comfortable nature of the defeat, Lobbe does not believe the gap between the two teams is insurmountable.
“It was very intense, very, very intense. We made a good first step. We realise how good the South African defence is, how much pressure they put you under,” said the skipper.
“We can take a lot of positives from this game. We can look ourselves in the eye because everyone gave 100 per cent.”
It is expected to be a different story in the return fixture in Mendoza next week, where the Boks (4/1 to win Rugby Championship with bet365) can expect an intimidating atmosphere. Lobbe has promised the home fans a whole-hearted performance.
“I’m quite sure people are going to go crazy in Mendoza next week, and we’re going to try to give everything on the pitch and give them a good game of rugby,” he added.
Meanwhile, four nations favourites New Zealand beat Australia 27-19 in Sydney to get their campaign off to a winning start.
Australia (5/2 Tri-Nations outright) boss Robbie Deans has been criticised for his decision to drop playmaker Matt Giteau from the squad to face South Africa in Saturday.
The Brumbies utility back, who can cover a number of positions throughout the backline, has been omitted from the matchday 22 for the Tri-Nations opener against South Africa in Sydney and now faces a battle to reclaim his position in the squad ahead of the World Cup (4/1 outright) in the autumn.
Giteau, who is due to join French side Toulon following the tournament in New Zealand, has been a stalwart of the side since making his debut in 2002, earning 92 caps in the process.
However, his postion in the side has been called into question in recent times due to the emergence of the likes of Quade Cooper and Berrick Barnes but many believe there is still a place for him in the Wallaby set-up.
“I think the whole thing is quite sad to be honest,” former coach Eddie Jones told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“If I was a supporter, the one player I’d be happy to pay money to see would be (Giteau) – he gives his heart every week.
“Right now, for some reason, Robbie doesn’t see him as the answer at number 12.”
South Africa (10/11 +8pts in H’cap with Tie with bet365) will hand debuts to three players in their Tri-Nations opener against Australia in Sydney on Saturday (Australia 10/11 -8 pts, 16/1 H’Cap Tie SA =8pts).
Springboks coach Peter de Villers named props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger alongside number eight Ashley Johnson in his starting pack for the game while uncapped scrum-half Charl McLeod will also start on the bench.
De Villiers has been forced to test the depth of his squad following a run of injuries but presented the news as an ‘exciting opportunity’ for the players.
“The new caps had outstanding Super Rugby seasons and this is an exciting opportunity for them,” De Villiers said.
“They have been rewarded for their form and now it’s up to them. We have got some new combinations, but there is a lot of potential in this side and the players are hungry for this chance.”
Experienced hooker John Smit will lead the side and his role will be vital with Greyling and Kruger either side of him in a pack that is also shorn of second-row pair Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield because of injury.
The lock Flip van der Merwe will get his chance alongside Ulster’s Johann Muller.
Super Rugby’s joint-top try scorer Bjorn Basson (nine) lines up opposite Lwazi Mvovo on Springbok’s wings while experienced half-backs Ruan Pienaar and Morne Steyn will pull the strings (6/5 South Africa in Team to Score First).
Robbie Deans has recalled Reds number eight Radike Samo to the Australia squad for the upcoming Tri-Nations tournament (Australia 13/5 to win the Tri-Nations) after seven years in the international wilderness.
The back-rower was part of the Queensland side that won the Super Rugby title on Saturday and his fine form has been rewarded with a place in the Australian squad for the first time since 2004.
Samo has 6 caps for the Wallabies and has spent much of the last five years playing in Paris for Stade Francais. However, since his return to Australia, he has become one of the stalwarts of the Reds pack and impressed with his powerful running and superb work at the line-out.
The Fijian born star’s team mates Beau Robinson and James Hanson also join him in the squad and are two of the three newcomers to the squad alongside Waratahs lock Sitaleki Timani.
Samo is also joined in the squad by fellow veterans Mark Gerrard and Dan Vickerman but Wallaby legend Phil Waugh has been excluded from the 40-man party.
The former Crusaders’ boss insists he has picked his squad on form and not reputation and says he is pleased that Samo has rediscovered his form.
“Samo’s performances speak for themselves,” Deans said. “Seven years after he first played Test matches, he has got into good shape physically and has shown that he still has an appetite for rugby at this level.”
Following the tournament, Deans will have to trim ten names from his squad as he heads into his side’s final preparations for the World Cup (4/1 World Cup outright) in New Zealand.
Tags: Australia, beau robinson, dan vickerman, james hanson, mark gerrard, new zealand, outright betting, radike samo, reds, robbie deans, rugby union bet, rugby union betting, rugby union odds, sitaleki timani, Super Rugby, Tri Nations, world cup
Tri Nations | Rugby Union Betting News | July 10, 2011 15:23 |
South Africa have raised a few eyebrows after selecting a depleted squad for the upcoming Tri-Nations tournament (SA 5/1 Outright Winners with bet365), which begins later this month.
The Springboks are currently without a number of their key stars due to injury, after a particularly gruelling Super Rugby season, and coach Pieter DeVilliers has decided to rest a number of his players in order to help them fully recover for the World Cup.
The Boks had previously released a list of 21 unavailable players for the matches against Australia and New Zealand on July 23 and 30.
Skipper John Smit, fly-half More Steyn and flanker Heinrich Brussouw are the only genuine first choice players to be included in the squad, as the South Africa look to preserve the majority of their stars for their World Cup (13/2 to defend their title) defence in New Zealand.
The decision has sparked outrage amongst the neighbouring unions, but DeVilliers has defended his decision and says the competition gives him a chance to assess new options.
“We’ve rewarded players who have performed outstandingly in Vodacom Super Rugby, although the injury situation has also been critical” he told reporters.
“But there is a backbone of experience and it means that all our leading players will receive Test exposure this year.”
Kiwi Fly-Half Dan Carter will go under the knife on Tuesday for surgery on a troublesome right ankle after New Zealand clinched the Tri-Nations. (New Zealand Evs to win 2011 World Cup with Stan James)
Carter kicked 15 points in New Zealand’s 29-22 defeat of South Africa in Johannesburg to secure the Tri-Nations for the All Blacks
Carter said regarding his injury: “Given that movement in my foot is being affected, it’s obviously in my best interests to have the surgery now.”
All Blacks Doctor Deb Robinson said: “It has reached the point now where it is restricting his ankle flexibility and, in turn, affecting his calf muscle strength, so now is the right time to have surgery.”
Carter is expected to make a full recovery by the end of October in time for New Zealand’s autumn internationals in Europe.
New Zealand face England at Twickenham on November the 6th in the first of four internationals against the home nations. (England to win Six Nations – 3/1 with StanJames)
The All Blacks have now gone on a fourteen successive game winning streak including the defeat of the Springboks in Johannesburg.