Wed, Aug 17, 2:52pm by Christopher Duffy
Australia and New Zealand will kick of this year’s Rugby Championship in Sydney this weekend with a mouth-watering Bledisloe clash. The Wallabies are a side that from the outside appear to be in disarray after a 3-0 whitewash defeat in the June Series against England. The All Blacks on the other hand are once again looking like the dominant force of world rugby despite a large number of retirements following the Rugby World Cup.
The last time these two sides met it was under the lights of Twickenham with the world watching as New Zealand won back to back World Cups. That 34-17 victory was inspired by a man who will not be present in Sydney, Dan Carter. Missing from the All Blacks squad are players of the same calibre as Carter, Richie McCaw, Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu. Yet they have been replaced by the stars of the future Beauden Barrett, Ardie Savea and George Moala. Meaning the All Blacks head into this fixture as favourites with William Hill priced at $1.40.
Australia won this fixture last season to claim the Rugby Championship title and provide hope for the Rugby World Cup. A tournament at which they excelled until losing out to New Zealand but since that loss in the Final, rugby in Australia has been in the spotlight.
With the Super Rugby sides failing to impress this season as the Brumbies only made the Finals by way of the new Conference system rather than excelling against the rest of the competition. This was followed by the horrifying calamity of a defeat to England. Yet they still have hope heading into this Test despite odds stacked against them at a price of $2.90 with William Hill.
William Hill are offering prices on the first and last try scorer of the match. These are based on the jersey number of the player to cross the line. For 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 to score first they are offering $1.70 in contrast to $2.10 for Any Other Number / Penalty Try / Tryless Match. At the other end of the match prices for the last try scorer are $1.85 for 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 and $1.90 for Any Other Number / Penalty Try / Tryless Match. Alternatively if the last try scorer (any player) is from Australia it is priced at $2.60 and $1.45 for New Zealand.
For those far less interested in the result William Hill has a number of offers to intrigue any fan. Prices are being offered on the what causes the first stoppage of the game, with Lineout/ Throw In favourite at $1.85. After that prices rise from a Scrum ($3.00), Penalty ($3.25), Try ($26.00), Mark ($34.00), 22m Drop Out ($34.00) and a Drop Goal ($51.00).
Australia will set out in Sydney to right a number of wrongs that have surrounded this Wallabies team. A win here would throw the Rugby Championship wide open as New Zealand are almost certainly the team to beat this year as in most years.
Bet of the Match: New Zealand to Win at $1.40
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