After a week off the Rugby Championship returns on Saturday and although New Zealand look to have the title wrapped up, the other sides have questions to answer.
First up in the afternoon, South Africa take on Australia in the “City of Roses”, Bloemfontein. It has been a fortnight of soul searching for the Boks following their abysmal 57-0 reverse to the All Blacks, while the Wallabies will have been buoyed by their 45-20 win over Argentina.
In truth the Boks were embarrassing in Albany and Allister Coetzee has rightly rung the changes, with right wing Dillyn Leyds one of those coming in and he will provide an extra playmaking option.
Three of Australia’s XV will make their first international starts, with Leyds’ opposite number, Marika Korobiete arguably the most eyecatching.
The pair recently drew 23-23 in Perth and that perhaps shows how well matched they are. However, the Boks are at their most dangerous when wounded and with home advantage on their side, 2/1 for them to win by 1-10 points seems sensible.
In the other match, New Zealand make the arduous trip to South America to face Argentina.
A couple of big names may be missing but the All Blacks are still a wonderful outfit and will not be intimidated by the raucous crowd in Buenos Aires.
The Pumas continue to tread water, losing all of their matches to date and questions remain as to whether they merit their place in this competition.
No wins in 25 matches tells the story of how the Argentineans have struggled in this fixture and although they may well give the Kiwis a scare, anything other than an away win is unlikely, so the 13/5 for NZ to win by 11-20 looks about right.
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