After Georgia had shocked Tonga in Pool C’s opening match, world champions New Zealand probably would have taken note, however, the former Soviet Republic’s subsequent pummelling at the hands of Argentina would have allied any fears of a fright from the Tier 2 nation in match three.
Indeed, at the halfway point of Pool C, everything is going according to plan for the All Blacks.
Steve Hansen’s side have come through what is sure to be their sternest examination against the Pumas and coasted past Namibia, running in eight tries in the process.
It’s hardly surprising that Ladbrokes set the handicap line at a colossal 65-point mark for the 1/1000 match favourites, but there is a price boost on clearing an even loftier points hurdle that may well whet the punting whistle.
The bookmaker is enhancing Dan Carter and co to win the Millennium Stadium clash by 80 points or more from 11/4 out to 7/2.
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One man sure to be licking his lips at the prospect of tearing through another sub-standard defensive line is the pre-tournament top tryscorer favourite.
Julian Savea, the New Zealand wing affectionately referred to as “The Bus” drove over the line twice against Namibia and 1/2 on two or more scores for the number 11 looks as solid a bet as any on the contest.
The Hurricanes back is a 4/1 chance to go over first for his country in the Welsh capital too, while any of the back three (11,14 and 15) registering the first five-point score of the game smells successful.
Although in the tournament try tally the number 11 is one behind the likes of Wales’ Gareth Davies, Savea’s current odds of 5/2 for the top tryscorer mantle are bound to shrink after Georgia are tonked.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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