The Rugby Championship is finally here and we get to see the top 4 teams from the Rugby World Cup go head to head! Here are my round 1 predictions.
Before we get into it here is a link to my tournament preview.
Here is my 30 second 1 Line Predictions, for the reasoning read below.
Australia v New Zealand
Bledisloe Cup round 1 and if you listened to the hype you might miss that this is the opening round of The Rugby Championship. Australia haven’t held this trophy since 2002 and it really hurts. Not many pundits are expecting them to get it back this year either. This might be a rematch of the Rugby World Cup final but the 3-0 loss to England in June is a lot fresher in the memory. Australia weren’t a million miles away in June and they are reinforced by their stars based in France. Also having had more preparation time than New Zealand the Wallabies shouldn’t be written off.
The All Blacks lost this fixture last year and whilst they got revenge the following week and won the Rugby World Cup they won’t want a run of losses to start. Being notorious slow starters in a tournament this is where we are all expecting them to be their most vulnerable. Also they haven’t had a lot of time together but with what will be a very strong bench I think that they will pull away in the last quarter.
New Zealand by 15
South Africa v Argentina
What Boks side are we going to see? One playing a traditional style or one inspired by the Lions Super Rugby performances? My worry is that Lions players will get picked on those performances and then be asked to play a different way. Coetzee has been talking that different styles work at different levels so we will see.
The Pumas had an up and down June window and the Jaguares have been struggling. However it all looks like this has been their target all year and we have seen how well the Pumas can target a Rugby World Cup. I think though that the Boks will be looking for revenge for that loss on home soil last year and the Pumas will come up short on this trip.
South Africa by 5
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