Tough Times For The Pumas
It has been a tough month in the Pumas camp, as they’ve lost all three matches so far this Rugby Championship.
Those games have all come against the top two sides in the World Rankings – New Zealand and South Africa (x2), but given a 19-point deficit is the closest they’ve come to any side, it doesn’t exactly look promising for their hopes in this next one.
All Blacks Favourites For The Title
This tournament looked to be building towards a showdown between the two top sides in the world, but following South Africa’s defeat to Australia in the last round, you have to think the Kiwis are the most fancied to go on and lift the 2021 title.
The All Blacks unsurprisingly have the best record in this tournament, winning six of the eight titles, while they also won the Tri-Nations competition last year when South Africa withdrew from the Rugby Championship due to Covid-19.
The South American outfit will still have fond memories of beating the Kiwis for the first time in their history just 10 months ago.
However, in their two head-to-head matches since, they’ve failed to get a single point on the scoreboard while conceding as many as 38 points in each.
Moreover, they’ve now lost 18 of the 19 meetings between the two over the last decade, with 16 of them by more than 14 points.
Argentina +12 Point First Half Handicap
New Zealand’s record in this competition now reads W36-D2-L4 from their 42 outings since it started in 2012. By comparison, Argentina are an almost exact opposite W5-D1-L36, and this has got the makings of yet another one-sided affair.
That poor record includes back-to-back heavy defeats against the Springboks in the opening two rounds, and their next opponents just look far too good for them to compete with.
It should be noted though, that ill-discipline did let down the Pumas for large parts in the opening game with Pablo Matera and Carloe Muzzio both receiving yellow cards.
That meant they struggled to gain any sort of foothold in the game and against a team like the All Blacks you just can’t afford to do that.
However, we do feel like they have more to give than yet another thrashing and that is likely going to have to include a solid start in their next game.
Dating back to the Tri-Nations in November last year, the Pumas have only once trailed by more than 12 points at halftime from their 10 matches, and having only played one non-Tier One nation over that period in Romania, they look capable of keeping things relatively close after 40 minutes.
ARGENTINA +12 FIRST HALF HANDICAP
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