Top two ready for Dublin battle


Saturday will see the top two teams in the IRB world rankings go head to head as New Zealand make the trip to Dublin to face Ireland.

All Blacks to win -5.5 handicap @ 10/13

Head coach Steve Hansen saw his world champions edge past England last weekend 16-15 at Twickenham, in a match that really tested the Kiwis credentials following a sluggish start by the tourists.

The Red Rose were given the benefit of a 15-point head start and still could not keep the black tide at bay.

New Zealand pride themselves on learning from their mistakes and they are highly unlikely to afford Joe Schmidt’s Ireland the same luxury of a running start in Saturday’s encounter.

Ireland will have their moments in this game but it’s hard to see them being able to record their first win over the All Blacks on Irish soil this weekend.

South Africa to win -3.5 handicap @ 20/23

The Springboks showed last week that they can never be counted out as they came from behind to record a fine win against the French in Paris.

Having licked their wounds after the narrowest of defeats to England, the Boks looked much more like the team that enjoyed a strong Rugby Championship this year against Les Bleus.

As for Scotland, after a defeat of their own against the Welsh in the Doddie Weir Cup, Gregor Townsend’s side got back to winning ways with a convincing victory over Fiji.

Murrayfield has become a tough place for visiting teams to pick up wins, as Scotland have won nine of their last 10 Tests in Edinburgh, with their only defeat coming against the All Blacks.

The Scots have made changes to try and cope with the physicality of the Boks but the tourists might just have too much as they continue to build towards the 2019 World Cup.

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