RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Semi Final 2
Monday, 26 October 03:00
Australia are somewhat fortunate to be lining up in the second semi-final following their controversial 35-34 victory over Scotland. After their excellence against England, Michael Cheika will be concerned about the mistakes made against Wales and Scotland and they will get punished by more clinical sides if they continue in that matter.
Argentina’s performances so far have been clinical and none were more so than their stunning display to knock out Ireland last weekend. On top of their dazzling quarter-final victory they seriously worried New Zealand in their opener then secured bonus try-point wins over Georgia, Tonga and Namibia in their remaining pool fixtures. The combination of powerful forward play, creative backs and impeccable all-round handling skills is usually associated with the Southern hemisphere ‘Big Three’ and Los Pumas have firmly argued their case to now make it a ‘Big Four’.
Many believe the Argentinians’ rise is down to their exposure to the Rugby Championship, despite a W2-D1-L18 record since their inauguration three years ago. The experience has toughened them up and released a style of play that is dangerous yet pleasing on the eye. Notably they won 37-25 in South Africa earlier this year. Their only other success came when they turned over their opponents here, 21-17 at home in 2014. The Aussies have prevailed in the other six encounters since 2012, though four of the victories have been by a converted try’s difference or less.
The Wallabies won their only meeting under Cheika against the South Americans by 25 points in July. They’ve won 9/10 this year with the only blemish coming against New Zealand. The All Blacks are also the only other southern hemisphere side to defeat the Green and Gold at a World Cup this century having triumphed in their other three matches.
Australia have won three of their previous five World Cup semi-finals with all of the victories coming against Southern hemisphere opposition. Argentina, meanwhile, have never reached a final and only ever made the final four once when they lost heavily to eventual champions South Africa 13-37 in France 2007.
At the last two World Cups the finalists have derived from the same pool and given that we’ve backed New Zealand in the first semi it lends a reason to support Los Pumas here. Fly-half Nicholas Sanchez has been imperious from the boot while Australia’s Bernard Foley made mistakes from the tee against Scotland. At 3.60 Argentina look a decent price. It shouldn’t be seen as an upset if they make their first ever final.
- Australia have won 9/10 matches in 2015
- Australia have won six of the seven matches between these two since 2012
- Argentina have a W2-D1-L18 record since joining the Rugby Championship
- At the last two World Cups the finalists have derived from the same pool
Recommendation: Argentina to Win @ 3.60