Rugby Championship week 2: S.Africa to narrowly prevail again

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The Rugby Championship moves into its second week of fixtures following a hard-fought first round between the four sides, in difficult weather conditions.

The return fixtures provide the protagonists the chance to play some more free-flowing rugby, but as you’ll see from our best three bets below, we expect at least one tussle to be as tight as the preceding week.

South Africa to beat Argentina by 1-5 points – 6/1

In the opening fixture of the tournament Argentina battled hard to secure their first ever win over South Africa, before eventually falling to a bitter 13-6 defeat in heavy Pretorian rain.

The fact the Pumas beat more defenders, made more carries and missed less tackles than their opponents last time out indicates they are inching ever closer to a victory.

Their home record since joining The Rugby Championship stands at one draw and a five-point loss from two outings.

While their improvement may not have quite taken them to victory yet, another narrow defeat looks a solid flutter.

New Zealand to beat Australia – 1/5

If the 12-12 draw Australia gained at home to the All Blacks last week puffed a shot of confidence into their thinking, a trip to Eden Park this time out is sure to rapidly deflate it.

The Wallabies have lost all of their last 14 visits to face New Zealand since their 1986 victory there, when the sport still had amateur status.

In fact, no nation has emerged victorious from the Eden Park lights since 1994.

NZ’s Kieran Read to score a try at anytime – 7/2

In his last nine Tests Kiwi number eight Read has scored six tries.

The world’s most dominant player hasn’t been as prolific against the Wallabies recently as he has against other nations, but still has a 50 percent strike rate in the last two outings against them.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.