The Rugby Championship formerly known as the Tri Nations signals the return of high-end egg-chasing to British screens this weekend, with Australia hosting New Zealand while Argentina travel to South Africa.
Steve Hansen’s World Cup winners have taken both tournaments since its 2012 evolution and seven of the past nine all told, so their 1/2 outright favourite odds seem safe.
New Zealand -4 points to beat Australia @ 10/11
Simply put, the All Blacks have won nine of their last 10 clashes with their neighbours, with four victories claimed in their last five visits across the Tasman Sea.
The world champions have sailed past the four-point-win mark in each of their last five fixtures against Australia, with a victory margin of twice what’s required here their worst result during that run.
Ewen Mackenzie’s Wallabies are unbeaten in their last four matches at home and are a better team than the one that lost to the British and Irish Lions 12 months ago, but they’re not yet good enough to avoid a schooling from the masters.
Argentina +25 points to beat South Africa @ 10/11
Since Argentina joined the SANZAR teams in 2012, prompting the end of the Tri Nations and the birth of this tournament incarnation, South Africa’s fortunes against the South Americans have fluctuated wildly.
After stuffing their opponents 73-13 at home this time last year, the Springboks edged past Los Pumas 22-17 in the return fixture just a week later.
The Soweto mauling was the only Rugby Championship fixture against Argentina in four that South Africa have won by more than 25 points, as their 2012 matches 27-6 and 16-16, so the outsiders with a massive handicap looks the marginal call here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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