Rugby Championship 2018: Round 2 Predictions

Tendai Mtawarira

In Round 1, my winning margin predictions were the wrong way around for the two matches – I predicted a closer match between the Wallabies and the All Blacks, and then went for a bigger margin for the Springboks.

This weekend sees the reverse fixtures and here are my Rugby Championship predictions.

New Zealand v Australia
The Wallabies have no chance of winning this one. They looked fairly average last week, and the All Blacks only needed a mediocre performance themselves to win by 25 points. Here at Eden Park, where they haven’t lost since about 1871, they’ll be more cohesive and determined to put on a show for their home fans. The absence of Ryan Crotty is usually felt, but Ngani Laumape is a pretty able replacement.

Whether Australia find a response to this week’s widespread criticism is the question, but even if they do improve, the All Blacks will still win.

New Zealand by 28

Argentina v South Africa
This is the first tricky pick of the tournament, with a chance of an upset. The Springboks are favourites and most people will pick them on Superbru, but instinct says that the Pumas are difficult to beat at home. But when I checked the Rugby Championship historic results on ESPN Scrum, I discovered that they’ve actually only won two home matches since their inclusion in 2011 (beating Australia in 2014 and South Africa in 2016).

Add to that their abysmal home defeats to Wales and Scotland in June, and I’m expecting a Springbok victory. South Africa should find an extra couple of gears having spent more time together and with last week’s victory helping to build confidence, and whilst I haven’t seen the teamsheets yet, I think they’ll make it two from two in Mendoza.

South Africa by 13

Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James

7 thoughts on “Rugby Championship 2018: Round 2 Predictions

  1. Nearly got stampeded in the rush for anything SH again.

    Oz didn’t look that ordinary in the 1st 1/2 last week when they kept NZ out for nearly 40 mins. However, the AB’s are mostly more efficient than other teams when they have possession. This showed in the 2nd spell, although Oz had no luck, like Folau’s injury leaving a gap in defence or Barrett’s dribbled try which might have bounced sideways, but their line out losses were disastrous.

    However, @ home I can only see the AB’s getting better after their 1st blow out. Oz will also surely improve, especially @ line out. They’ll have to. If they can get & keep some pill, they could make it awkward for NZ, but I just don’t see any areas where the AB’s will be dominated. With a near 1st choice team again, I can only see NZ again running away with it once more, particularly by the last 1/4. Hard to argue with 28.

    SA put the acid on Argentina last week, again, especially later in the 2nd 1/2. Argentina have to win this 1 as it’ll likely present them with 1 of possibly 2 chances for wins in the tournament. They’ll need to be more creative with ball in hand & certainly not kick it away. They must also win more possession than SA, who might well kick it out wide again. If they at least get parity ball, they could sneak it in a close 1 @ home. However, if the squander possession, SA will likely prevail & which, in the end, i think will happen anyway. SA by 10?

  2. Only seen the highlights of the Aus NZ game. Pretty impressive stuff from the ABs.

    Aus defence may have been sieve-like (did I read something like 40 missed tackles?) and their set-piece non-existent, but the ABs were ruthless and efficient in capitalising on it.

    Can’t see Aus turning that around in a week. ABs by 25+ but could be a real blowout

  3. Can see the all blacks hammering austrailia here
    52 – 14

    In the other game it could honestly go either way. probably safer to call SA but just depends what argentina shows up

  4. Gave Pabloto & Gary a thumbs up because, to paraphrase John Pullen, ‘.. @ least ‘they’ turned up! Well done, proper rugby boys.

  5. Barrett had another disallowed due to a fwd pass.
    Jones of the S Times didn’t rate Barrett after the Lions’ tour. Why would he? I mean Barrett’s only x2 been WR player of the yr & scored over 30 AB tries… so far. Anyway, if interested, it’ll be on Sky Catch up.. @ yr local maybe?


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