Australia were beaten fairly comfortably by the All Blacks in Sydney and now face the daunting prospect of a return trip to Auckland on Saturday. The final scoreline of 27-19 rather flattered Australia who produced a great spell in the last 10 minutes of the first half but really nothing else.
Australia have not won a Bledisloe Cup match in New Zealand since 2001, and anything other than a New Zealand victory this weekend would be a huge shock. To compound matters for Australia, their skipper and influential openside flanker David Pocock was injured last weekend and is likely to be out of the entire Super Rugby Championship.
Bet365 odds on this Rugby Championship match:
1/10 New Zealand, 6/1 Australia, 33/1 Draw
(more interesting are the handicap odds: see banner below)
Once again he was one of the few shining lights for the Wallabies. Besides replacing Pocock, Robbie Deans is likely to gamble on playmaker Quade Cooper for this crunch match despite the feeling in New Zealand especially that he is a weak defender. If Cooper does play then All Black centres Sonny Bill Williams and Ma’a Nonu will surely test out his defensive capabilities all night. Australia have also dropped full-back Kurtley Beale, with Drew Mitchell coming back into the side after a lengthy spell on the sidelines after a horrific broken ankle.
At least in selecting Cooper at fly-half Australia will have more attacking options and some much-needed creativity in a fairly placid back-line. The issue may be that without Pocock, McCaw will be given almost a free license at the breakdown. New Zealand should win far more comfortably than last weekend and in Sonny Bill Williams’ last match for a while he will want to go out with a bang.
Betting Tips for this New Zealand v Australia Rugby match
You can see the latest betting odds from Bet365 Online Bookmaker on the banner below. We reckon New Zealand will beat the handicap of 15 points and should be backed to do so. So bet on the All Blacks -15 points with Bet365.