Wed, Sep 28, 10:11am by Christopher Duffy
Date and Time: Sunday October 2, 1am AEST
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
TV: Fox Sports
Pressure has eased on the Wallabies after back-to-back victories on home soil. With the win over the Springboks in Brisbane and victory over Argentina a week later, Australia have answered some of their critics. They, however, remain a long way from the side that reached the Rugby World Cup Final last year in terms of performance. Ultimately they needed the victories more than performances but they now face the challenge of two matches on the road and will be looking for improvements in all areas.
Loftus Versfeld is not a place sides want to visit too often. It is a stadium often viewed as a stronghold of South African rugby and with the Springboks under scrutiny it will be an even less welcoming place. The South African side are under similar pressure as the Wallabies faced in the opening rounds of The Rugby Championship. Springbok fans will be expectant of a return to winning ways after disappointing defeats in Australia and New Zealand. Sportsbet currently hold them as favourites to do so at 1.66.
Whilst the scrutiny may well galvanise the Springboks, it also a perfect time for the Wallabies to claim a rare victory in the Republic. If they can get a strong hold on the game early on as they did against Argentina, then Australia can take advantage of the pressure on the home side. Despite being priced at $2.20, they do have the quality in the side to beat South Africa as shown in Brisbane. With a number of key players finding form in particular half backs Quade Cooper and Will Genia, opportunities abound for Australia they just need to grab them.
The addition of a margin with Sportsbet for a Big Win Little Win, sees the latter as the favourite. That is a victory for either side by 1-12 points. South Africa are priced at $2.63 for a Little Win while Australia stands at $3.10. The likelihood of a Big Win of 13+ points appears remote but both teams have plenty of danger men in their backs. The Wallabies stand at $6.00 for Big Win in contrast to the Springboks at $4.00. A draw between the two teams is a possibility and is priced with Sportsbet at $23.00.
The last time these two met it was the Springboks that came out early with the opening try with Warren Whiteley scoring in under three minutes. Sportsbet holds them as favourites to do so again priced at $1.70 to score the first try. Whilst to score the first points including penalty or drop goal they stand at $1.74. If the Wallabies are to have any hope in this match they will need to hold out longer than that and look to score first. For the first try they stand at $1.96 and $2.01 for the first points. While for neither team to score a try the price is $66.00.
These two sides are struggling to achieve former glories in this competition as New Zealand continue to dominate. That makes the matches between themselves even more crucial. With pride in the jersey at stake, the Wallabies and Springboks will need to deliver big performances.
Bet of the Match: Springboks to win by 1-12 points at $2.63
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