Fri 2 Sep 2022 | 10:19

New Zealand v Argentina - Teams and Prediction

New Zealand v Argentina - Teams and Prediction
Fri 2 Sep 2022 | 10:19
New Zealand v Argentina - Teams and Prediction

RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND FOUR: New Zealand will need to play without fear against Argentina in Hamilton on Saturday to avenge their shock defeat last weekend and prevent the humiliation of losing a fourth successive home Test.


The under-fire New Zealand coach Ian Foster surprised critics by naming the same starting players who lost 18-25 in Christchurch as the Pumas made history with their first victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand.

Argentina coach Michael Cheika made four changes to his side, who he still labelled as “underdogs”, despite successive victories over Australia and New Zealand that took them top of the Rugby Championship table.

Foster has overhauled his bench, recalling 298 caps worth of experience through hooker Dane Coles, lock Brodie Retallick, flank Dalton Papali’i and flyhalf Beauden Barrett.

The All Blacks coaches have kept faith with the same starting XV for a third game on the trot.

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Commenting on the team, Ardie Savea said: “You can say it’s important to build the chemistry around that in terms of thinking of next year [but] mate, I’m thinking about now, pretty much, and this weekend.

“It’s important to build combinations, but at the same time, you’ve got to perform under those pressure moments, and if you don’t, then things can happen.”

Cheika dropped his lone Christchurch try-scorer, flank Juan Martin Gonzalez, to the bench along with lock Matias Alemanno, wing Lucio Cinti and scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou.

Forwards Santiago Grondona and Matias Alemanno are recalled, along with experienced back Tomas Cubelli and Santiago Cordero.


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‘As underdog as you get’

Cheika laughed off suggestions that the Pumas would start as favourites, with last week’s historic result following a 48-17 dismantling of Australia in San Juan.

“Mate, we’re in New Zealand, playing against New Zealand,” he told reporters.

“I know that you guys like to manoeuvre the story around, but we’re about as underdog as you get. You win once, and then no one expects you to win again.”

“There’s absolutely no benefit for any of us to think about anything like that,” though he conceded that Ireland’s successive wins in July “gives us some hope”.

Cheika said beating New Zealand at home twice in a row would be a huge task.

“We know it’s difficult,” he said.

“There is a little bit [of hope] there because Ireland were able to do it a couple of times this year, so that gives us some hope around how to look at doing it.

“We have tried to prepare and know that when it’s difficult we enjoy it. When the challenge is big or the situation in a game is tough, we thrive in that moment.”

Foster said New Zealand’s command of possession and territory, primarily off the dominance of their scrum, had made the historic defeat all the more difficult to accept.

In front after 50 minutes, Foster said his side repeatedly ran into Argentina’s wall of defenders with a lack of attacking variety.

“It’s an area where I think great All Blacks teams have always been great – in that last 15 minutes – backing themselves and doing the right thing,” he said.

“We clearly got a bit flustered under a bit of pressure and it narrowed down some of our options.

“On the field we have to get better than that.”

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Players to watch:

For New Zealand: The All Blacks are a group of talented players, however, they are struggling at the moment whether that is combinations or just the quality of the opposition. No.8 Ardie Savea has been a lone ranger in the losing cause and will again be eager to deliver a good performance. Richie Mo’unga would want to make an impact following last weekend’s disastrous outing. In the pack, Sam Whitelock and Scott Barrett will need to put in some big hits. On the bench, Brodie Retallick could add some much-needed physicality along with Dalton Papali’i and Dane Coles. Beauden Barrett also owes the All Blacks supported a good run.

For Argentina: The Los Pumas are oozing with confidence and with good reason. They have been impressive and would want to keep that momentum. Michael Cheika made four changes to his team Santiago Grondona,Guido Petti, Santiago Cordero and scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli all come in teh starting XV. They certainly have a big job as they would want to impress Cheika. Emiliano Boffelli is on the right wing. Boffelli has been incredible and his kicking has been outstanding – a feat that causes a huge headache for All Blacks.

New Zealand v Argentina - Teams and Prediction


New Zealand v Argentina - Teams and Prediction


@rugby365com: New Zealand by three points


New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 George Bower, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Quinn Tupaea.

Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia; 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Santiago Cordero; 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Tomas Cubelli; 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Santiago Grondona; 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti; 3 Joel Sclavi, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Lucio Cinti.

Date: Saturday, September 3
Venue: FMG Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.05 (04:05 ART, 07.05 GMT)
Expected weather: Cold, wet rainy, with a high of 15°C and a low of 10°C
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia) & Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Brian McNeice (Ireland)

Source: AFP & Rugbypass


PV: 11