The Rugby Championship 2019: Round 2 Predictions

Dane Haylett-Petty

Last weekend I overestimated Australia and underestimated Argentina, with two correct picks nowhere near the margins, and this weekend they play each other in Brisbane

The Pumas came close to beating the All Blacks for the first time ever, and they will be a serious threat to England and France at the Rugby World Cup, whilst the under-strength Springboks dispatched the Wallabies.

Here are my predictions for Round 2 of the Rugby Championship.

New Zealand v South Africa
Given that there are only 3 rounds in this year’s tournament, this fixture looks like the title decider already. Since that 57-0 travesty, the last three matches between these teams have been won by just 1 or 2 points, and the Springboks won on their most recent visit to New Zealand.

This should be a fascinating game ahead of their pool stage meeting in Tokyo in their first matches of the World Cup, but with home advantage in Wellington, you have to pick the All Blacks to win.

New Zealand by 7

Australia v Argentina
Argentina won on their most recent visit to Australia, but they have lost 7 of the last 8 to the Wallabies, all by double-figure margins. After their defeat in South Africa last weekend, it’s hard to gauge where the Wallabies are, whilst the Pumas were impressive in their loss in Buenos Aires.

Christian Leali’ifano gets a run at fly-half for the Wallabies, whilst Marika Koroibete returns on the wing, and you feel like a defeat here would cause much alarm in the Australia camp. Despite losing Agustin Creevy, with the Jaguares’ strength up front, I’m picking them for the win.

Argentina by 4

14 thoughts on “The Rugby Championship 2019: Round 2 Predictions

  1. Blimey! A Reply box this week as well! With the return of much of the incumbent AB pack, they’ll surely look to do a nullifying number on the Boks up front. Aiming to starve them of ball, it’ll also be interesting to see how Frizell & Todd go. Still trying different combos in the 1/2’s, but with a potential 1st choice midfield, the odd pick is BB @ 15. Although BB had played f back for NZ whilst being groomed as Carter’s successor, maybe Hansen’s looking to test an interchangeable 2 fly1/2 system again? Or looking to all out attack from the back? We’ll see. Also Hansen may have in mind last yr’s missed shots @ goal? Whatever, I still don’t see BB’s 15 as a WC 1st choice. Strong SA team, possibly a WC starting one, Kolisi apart, although I’m less sure of Am & Mapimpi in the backs & even Kolisi himself for that matter. More punch the way it currently is. Still, a trial in one up manship & in fact. Expect NZ to have worked previous errors out of their system & NOT throw 2 more intercepts tomorrow. Therefore, NZ by 12-14? Dunno about Oz v Argentina. If the ref keeps out of it this week, Oz could just sneak a tight one. A game that both really must win, it’s a tricky pick that could (& will) go either way. Oz will need to be pretty much error free, not least in defence, whilst Argentina will need more invention in their backline. Although they pushed NZ, especially later on in the 2nd 1/2, The AB’s only had a 3rd of their 1st team out. That won’t likely happen in the WC & these TRC games aren’t really rehearsals. Oz by 3-5? Hmmm? Maybe.

    1
  2. I have an idea that the Argies hope to destroy the Aussies to morrow. I watched the KIwi vs Argies more closely than I have watched a game in years. I think the Kiwis got out of jail, Just.

  3. Well, got that wrong. Oddly, NZ HAVEN’T sorted out their error count. This is based on 2 games & therefore too little to draw definitive conclusions from. There’s also time to rectify this issue. However, with defences dominating, this too must still be of concern to NZ. Additionally, their tries have dried up. SA too for that matter. The NH will likely conclude that 2 swallows DO make a summer & accordingly take heart from these results for their WC chances. OTOH, better that theses concerns are exposed now, rather than in Japan. Will NZ continue with their profligacy in turnovers, dropped balls & knock ons? They have a history of analysing & fixing things that go awry, so we’ll see. Another area Hansen will need to address is getting 6 & 7 right. They’ll have to improve here to have a shot @ the WC. Cane & Squire? Also & which is affected by the loosies’ performance @ breakdown, is the opposition’s early, concerted rush defence. This must be countered. Maybe with Crotty, Goodhue? SBW was largely ineffective today. Some kicking was also substandard. Additionally, I think Sean Fitz is past his commentary sell by in stating stuff like; ‘ SA did well against a v good AB team’. What, with a NZ error count of c.15 was it? Should stick to after din dins speaking! Both need to wake up.

    1. Can’t be arsed to say anything about NZ under performing just for you to shoot it down with a comment about how form is temporary and NZ will bounce back once they cut the error count.

      Retallick injury is a blow for NZ RWC campaign hope its not too serious

      3
      1. No need, you just did Leon, although a bit defensive aren’t you? NZ’s ‘D’ hasn’t been under performing, wouldn’t you agree? And you may wish to read Hansen’s comments re their performances.

  4. Fitzy has been past his sell by date for years. He has seldom said anything interesting or perceptive.
    SA should be greatly encouraged by their performances over the last 2 weeks. They look like a side on the up, have some excellent players finding some form, have good depth and are clearly being well directed by their coaching team.
    They will be a force at the WC.

    1. I’ll pass yr sentiments on to SF Steve, although he may be a tad dissappointed, as he usually speaks v highly of you. SA may be encouraged by their performances over the past 2 wks. They may well be WC contenders. However, they, like NZ, will need to cut their error rate.. & also learn how to construct tries.

  5. Going to be interesting to see how NZ bounce back against Aus in a few weeks. Playing away and coming off of a bit of a shocker, another potential upset on the cards?

    1. Well BSB, it might be interesting, esp coming off the shocker of not having lost yet. Take it you’re English & looking fwd to yr nxt up matches then?

  6. Didn’t know where else to post this. Just watched a couple of Brian Lahore vids. Can’t recall having heard or seen him speak before. As a person of rugby achievement, what also stuck me were his values & particularly how ordinary & down to earth he was. Sad loss I think. Felt quite gutted after viewing.

Leave a Reply