Palmerbet Sports Team packs down with Rugby Union tips as the Wallabies aim to end their Bledisloe Cup misery against the might of the All Blacks.
21:45 (AEST), Sat 10th Aug @ Optus Stadium, Perth
History: Played 164: New Zealand 114 V Australia 43 (7 Draws)
Last meeting: October 27, 2018: New Zealand 37 d Australia 20 at Nissan Stadium
Final Thoughts: Australia and New Zealand square off in Perth for the first time as the Wallabies strive to snap an agonising 17-year Bledisloe Cup drought.
The match also doubles as the truncated 2019 Rugby Championship closer for both teams, who can both still claim the trophy.
The Wallabies kicked off their campaign with a dismal 35-17 loss to an under-strength South Africa in Johannesburg. They bounced back with a gritty – if not overly convincing – 16-10 win over Argentina on the Gold Coast.
Christian Lealiifano’s boot proved crucial in his first international for three years, staring in the No.10 and kicking three penalties and a conversion. Reece Hodge scored Australia’s sole try in what was just their fifth victory from their last 17 Tests.
The two-time defending World Cup champion All Blacks have also started in fairly underwhelming fashion. After an ugly 20-16 defeat of the Pumas in Buenos Aries, they were held to a 16-all draw in Wellington by the Springboks, who scored a last-minute try.
Three tries (all in the first half of their matches) is a modest return for a team brimming with firepower.
Both teams have made big selection calls. James O’Connor will feature at centre in his first Wallabies start since 2013, while Kurtley Beale is at fullback and Lealiifano has been retained at flyhalf. David Pocock’s return has been pushed back again in a big blow.
Ardie Savea’s selection in the No.6 jumper is the big talking point from the All Blacks’ team naming. Coach Steve Hansen has opted to retain Richie Mo’unga at flyhalf and Beauden Barrett at fullback – a strategy that produced mixed results against South Africa. Brodie Retallick is out with an elbow injury, giving Scott Barrett a starting opportunity.
The Wallabies have won just two of their last 22 Tests against the All Blacks. They jagged a 23-18 upset in Brisbane in 2017, but New Zealand was all three encounters last year – in Sydney, Auckland and Yokohama – by 17-plus margins.
While $4.80 underdogs Australia may seem little chance of springing an upset, New Zealand have been well below their best so far in 2019. The Wallabies are undefeated in their last six Tests in Perth and look a good option with a hefty star.
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP TIPS
|Argentina V South Africa||Handicap – Argentina +5.5 @ $1.95|