Category Archives: Argentina Rugby betting

Wales v Argentina Rugby Betting

Wales v Argentina Rugby Betting Preview, Nov 10 230pm. Wales -9 PaddyPower, Argentina +11 Stanjames

These two teams have played each other three times in recent years in Wales, and the average winning margin for Wales is 13 points (15,17,7). Handicaps have come in slightly since the start of the week, when many bookmakers had Argentina at +10, now they’re into +9. They pitch up to Cardiff like a mercenary army, wearily alive after recent wars in the Southern hemisphere, but ready for action.

If we take a look at recent games against Australia for both teams, they’ve lost by pretty much the same margins so there’s nothing separating them there. Wales played three and lost three down in Australia by small margins, and Argentina lost both of their Rugby Championship games v Australia in similar fashion. In fact, if you forget about the hidng they got at home against the All Blacks and away against the Springboks (in their first game), in their other four games they drew with South Africa and lost the other three games by 4, 6 and 16 points. The 16 was away in New Zealand in the wet (similar conditions to this Saturday) and the score only got that big in the final quarter of that game.

So who are Argentina missing this weekend, and can the remaining lot put it up to Wales this like they did to the world champtions? Roncero is gone, and Albacete will be missed, but other than that it’s still a good looking side. They lose Roncero’s dynamism and inspiration, but Ayerza can scrummage just as well, and Contepomi will take over the leadership role – coming into the side having last played in their June tests at home. The pack has a good spine, and it’s hard to see this Welsh pack totally dominating them. There’s plenty of ability in an all TOP14 backline (except for Camacho from Exeter) and Sanchez will surprise alot of people outside the excellent Landajo at nine. I watched Sanchez play in a second Bordeaux side recently at Gloucester and don’t be fooled by his relative anonymity- he is well able – brilliant with ball in hand, fast, and well able with the boot. He and Landajo face Priestland and Knoyle, and they have the advantage there.

Let’s have a pick at Wales starting fifteen for argument’s sake. The Scarlets’ nine and ten start on Saturday and they have to be viewed as a potential weakness in this company. Priestland is surely on his last legs as the Welsh ten, having done very litle for them in recent internationals, and this combo together have rarely performed when it really mattered in big games for the Scarlets. Looking at the backs – Cuthbert, Roberts and Halfpenny were top class players in a decent side that last week went to a weakened Leinster and had 60 points put on them. Captain Sam Warburton was captain that day and there was a distinct lack of leadership, and he’s captain against Argentina. Faletau hasn’t been in the greatest form for the Dragons recently, catalytic centre Jonathan Davies is injured, and the Ospreys captain Wynn Jones recently led a team that capitulated away at Leicester in a game that was there’s for the taking. In fact, bar Jenkins down in Toulon, recent club form doesn’t look great for anyone in this Welsh side in important games.

But wait, Welsh players always step it up for the International games don’t they? Well yes, but that’s one of those stereotypes that’s more of an excuse for poor club play than a reason for good international play. This Welsh team have the talent but there’s a massive amount of complacency in general about many of them lately, as seen in recent club games, and even down in Australia. The four Cardiff men in particular didn’t feel the need to perform against Leinster in the RaboPro12 because they figured they’d get picked anyway- and that surely can’t be a good thing. The men they’re missing tomorrow will be sorely missed too. Ryan Jones is one of the real leaders in this team and will be missed hugely against an abrasive Argentinian pack with serious motivation. Jones will be missed in the front row as will the world class Lydiate, and even Bradley Davies would have been useful on Saturday.

It sounds like we’re really drilling into Wales here but noone seems to be giving Argentina much of a chance and it pays to play devils advocate in every form of speculation. Looking at that Welsh side we see three big positives – Cuthbert, Tipuric on the bench, and North (if he doesn’t have to defend too much). But in the conditions forecast and with the disjointed and middling form of the Welsh pack, you’d wonder how much good ball they’ll see out wide.

The Argentinians have world cup seedings motivation here to stay in the top eight, and they could conceiveably end up in the TOP 4 after this tour, and that’s a serious prize worth fighting for. The last time they came North before a world cup seeding draw in November 2006 they beat England in Twickenham and they’re now coming off the back of 6 games against the top three in the world. They won’t fear Wales beyond respect, and they’ll surely believe they can win this game.

Wales v Argentina Rugby betting Main bet– You can see where we’re going with this I think. Wales can win this but there’s scant evidence of any hunger in the side recently. Recent Argentinian results against the top three in the world; A capable looking side and an able backline; Wales missing such important players; Roman Poite will let Argentina contest the breakdown; the poor conditions forecast; the poor form of Priestland; the recent poor club form; the inexperience in some positions; world cup rankings motivation; complacency…all point to Argentina staying within the handicap at least. We’ve taken Argentina on the +10 10/11, still only available in Ladbrokes(**EDIT +11 now available in Stanjames **Ladbrokes +11 at evens biggest**, Saturday 13:55 (+9/10 everywhere else). Argentina could win this even; they play with the big boys full time now.

We’ll have more side bets when markets come out.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Josh Turnbull,5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones,3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Paul James, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 James Hook, 23 Liam Williams.

Argentina: 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Felipe Contepomi, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Leonardo Senatore, 5 Julio Farias Cabello, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Replacements:
16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Juan Gomez, 19 Tomas Vallejos Cinalli, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Nicolas Vergallo, 22 Horacio Agulla, 23 Joaquin Tuculet.

Rugby Championship 2012 Betting Preview- Argentina and Australia

***Rugby Championship Odds update- Australia now out to a biggest 6/1 with Sportingbet, from where they were at 7/2. This is quite a big leap, and while we don’t fancy Australia for the win, 6/1 has a sniff of value about it. If they beat New Zealand in the first game this Saturday (importantly, Australia are at home), then that price will probably half to 3/1. Also, if after reading the below you fancy a small punt on Argentina, you can now get them at 125/1 in paddypower. As we say below; favourable fixtures for Argentina mean they shouldn’t be that big…***Wednesday Aug 15th

The Rugby Championship 2012 (formerly tri-nations – now Four Nations) will be the seventeenth annual rugby union series between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. This tournament will be unique as the first major tournament that Argentina is involved aside from the World cup. In an interesting corporate twist, the rugby championship will be named differently in each country;

  • In South Africa it will be referred to as The Castle Rugby Championship
  • In New Zealand, The Investec Rugby Championship
  • In Australia they’ll call it the Castrol Edge Rugby Championship
  • And in Argentina they’ll call it The Personal Rugby Championship

The 2012 Rugby Championship will kick off on 18 August and will finish on 6 October. Each team will play the other twice on a home and away basis.

Argentina, rugby championship- current world rank – 8

Since going out 33-10 to eventual champions New Zealand in the World cup Quarter final last year, Argentina have played three tests in June 2012. The squad for these three tests was devoid of most of their French based TOP 14 players, and gave an opportunity for many home-based players to put their hands up for selection for the forthcoming rugby championship.

Their first game against Italy saw them comprehensively beat a virtually full strength Italian team 37-22. Only Parisse was missing from the Italian side, and while he is no doubt integral to Italian efforts, his absence wasn’t the reason for this beating. The Argentinians were too much for the Italians – faster, stronger and hungrier. The only thing they were missing was a decent scrum, which the source of most of the Italian points. Also it is important to remember that the only real internationals of experience present were Roncero and Contepomi.

The second games saw them beat world cup finalists France at the death with a score against the run of play, finishing 23-20 with a converted try, (and killing our France -3 on the handicap!). Up to that point they were doing well to stay in touch with a star studded French side chasing ranking points, and in the end they were good value for their win. Remember a good chunk of these lads play their rugby in Argentina, far from the spotlight of European and Super 15 rugby.

In the third game they were comprehensively beaten 49-10 by France, after making 8 changes to give everyone in the squad a run. France were out for revenge here, and after shaking off their international rustiness from the previous week, it was a case of men against fatigued boys. Freddy Michalak was back pulling the strings, with the likes of Mermoz, Huget, and Picamoles tearing a tired inexperienced Argentinian squad asunder.

Argentina began these June internationals by resting over 20 players from the Top 14 and the Aviva premiership in anticipation of the rugby championship. They obviously set out with the goal of blooding what would make up the remainder of the International squad to play the rugby championship, and with two strong performances they must be happy with the wins achieved.

Key Points

There are a couple of important points to consider when sizing up Argentina’s prospects for the rugby championship.

  1. The majority of their internationals to come back will have had almost three months rest for the beginning of this tournament. The likes of Horacio Agulla, Bustos Moyano, Albacete, Lobbe, Ayerza, Fernandez, Creevy, Bosch etc. will all come into this tournament completely refreshed. Contrast that with the other three rugby teams and there’s one glaring fact that stands out – the Super 15 season finishes on August 4th, 2 weeks before the Rugby Championship starts. Almost every player for all three Southern Hemisphere teams (except a few injury returnees) will be at the end of a bruising season, with three testing internationals in June. You could look at this and say that they will be match fit, or you could look at it and say there will be more injuries, quite possibly to key players. And I’m sure Argentina will organise some game time to get the boys up to speed locally before coming out. The overall fatigue profile of all four teams is a big consideration going into this rugby championship.
  2. World cup winning coach Graham Henry has been drafted in as adviser to the Argentinian management in the lead up to the rugby championship. He will be a huge source of valid information, preparation ideals, and ways to approach home and away games. He was likely behind the decision to play are largely inexperienced team in the June tests.
  3. On the showing of the June Internationals, there’s a decent chance they can put away both South Africa and Australia at home, and quite possibly one of them away. South African fitness was awful in all three tests against England in the second half of all three June games. And there’s questions about whether the off-form Morne Steyn will be removed (he probably should be, but won’t be). Argentina play South Africa away first, and with a win first up, who knows how things can go for them. They can also realistically test an Australian side that scraped home in two of three games against a Welsh team that was nothing special.

Early Picks

For the moment there are only tournament win markets available, but I’ll update as soon as anything else starts to appear.

For now, Argentina to win the tournament is 100/1 in betfred and skybet. It is as low as 50/1 elsewhere. This is simply FAR too big for a few reasons. Argentina can beat South Africa and Australia on their day, even slightly off their day. Argentina also held New Zealand to a 6 point victory a couple of years back in Argentina. And crucially, South Africa and Australia could always beat New Zealand – they don’t have the same fear as Northern Hemisphere teams do. With the amount of intangibles, possible injuries, and rest Argentina have, this 100/1 is far too big and surely can’t last that long? It’s well worth an interest.

Go to Skybet for a free £10 bet

Go to Betfred free for a £50 bet

**Updates on value markets will appear at the top of this post as they appear in the run up to the rugby championship**

Australia – Pre-rugby championship- current world rank – 2

In 2011 Australia ended a ten year winless tournament run by winning the last ever tri-nations championship; their first win since 2001. This was off the back of the Reds winning their first ever Super XV championship. This June, they began their four match test series with a shock loss to a touring Scotland side, and followed that with three wins against Six Nations Grand Slam Champions Wales.

The first 9-6 loss to Scotland was Scotland’s first win in the Southern Hemisphere for 30 years. Like the Irish win at the World Cup, the forecast awful weather before the game had many of us thinking this could be Scotland’s day, and so it proved. Despite not getting anything from the referee in the scrum until the final winning penalty, Scotland owned the scrum all game and they were slightly hard done by over the entire 80 minutes. Scotland perhaps also should have win by a little more, with Laidlaw missing kicks, and butchering a try-scoring chance with a simple knock-on when Scotland looked nailed on for a try. Australia lacked incisiveness despite dominating for large periods, and Scotland tackled their hearts out.

But there were mitigating factors for Australia in this loss that should reduce its importance in assessing true Australian form. They had rested a number of players for this game, and they were off the back of a round of Super-Rugby just 2 days previously. This was an epic scheduling failure by the Australian Rugby Union, and one solely motivated by money. They almost set their side up for a completely torrid June series against Wales, but Australia rallied and put the Scottish loss behind them, following it with three wins against the Welsh.

Australia won the first test 27-19. They came out of the traps early and Wales were never able to handle the intensity here. Both sides squandered chances, and Australian intensity let up in the second half and Wales came back into the game. Australia were impressive in this game in their precision (look away try-butcher Rob Horne!), but let Wales back in before putting the game to bed with a late try. Worryingly, despite looking like they had full control of the result, there were a number of occasions when Wales could have undeservedly nicked the lead and sneaked the win.

In the second and third test Australia won narrowly by two and one points respectively. Both games were sealed by penalties at the death, and realistically Australia could have lost either game. In both games they tended to gift Wales turnover ball when they were on the attack inside the Welsh 22, and overall they lacked the precision of the first test. Indeed Wales looked on for a victory in the final game with momentum firmly theirs, going ahead in the 60th minute only for Australia to hit back almost immediately with a sucker-punch try (put your hand up Rob Horne!), to give us a grand finale. In both games it was tough to decide whether Australia were just doing enough, or whether they barely had enough. That said Australia still beat the Six Nations champions with players missing and out of position, so there’s a doggedness and resilience there without a doubt. And they’ll need that against New Zealand first up.

Key Points

  1. Australia came into these tests with quite a few high profile injuries in Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale and James O’Connor, not to mention James Horwill and Rocky Elsom. Horwill is out for the season, and Elsom probably won’t be back, and has been injured repeatedly and off form anyway. Currently O’Connor looks set to miss the first game of the rugby championship, and Beale is a slight doubt. He made a number of errors in his comeback in the final Welsh test, and looked to be really struggling.
  2. If Wales can get Beale and Cooper back and firing on all cylinders, with a fully fit team, they can beat anyone in the rugby championship. You’d imagine Deans will start with Cooper, and he has looked good since coming back from injury. Barnes will feel hard done by if he is left out of the ten spot, after being the main force behind the three test wins against Wales.
  3. Australian attacks frequently broke down against Wales and they’ll have to get that right for the upcoming championship. They frequently found themselves going from the Welsh line to their own line in under ten seconds. They’ll be punished far more severely by the likes of New Zealand. Their scrum also needs work.
  4. Australian depth of quality is probably the lowest of the Four Nations going into this tournament, and if injury were to befall the likes of Pocock or Genia, they’ll have real issues for the upcoming games.

Early Picks

As mentioned, Australia can compete with any team with a fully fit squad. But questions remain whether they will have one. The early price of 7/2 in stanjames and skybet does look quite big in comparison to New Zealand. Australia have New Zealand first game up in Sydney, and if they win that game the price won’t stay at 7/2. If you were one of many who saw this Welsh side as the best in the Northern Hemisphere, then you’d be justified in taking some of this price early. Another thing to remember is the fact that before they won the rugby championship last year, they also lost a game to Samoa with a wakened team. Perhaps the Scotland loss was just what they needed then!

Go to stanjames for a free £10 bet

For now (for us) a watching brief on the price is probably best for Australia as they are the most vulnerable to injuries out of the big three. Watch the top of this page for updates on the rugby championship. We’ll update as important injuries are confirmed cleared up or not at the top of this page.

**Updates on value markets will appear at the top of this post as they appear in the run up to the rugby championship**

Rugby Championship Betting preview New Zealand and Australia

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Rugby Betting tips & Previews,Odds, Canada v Italy (3am), Fiji v Scotland (3am), Argentina v France (10pm),16th June (times GMT)

 

Rugby Media Coverage

Nothing official yet, likely to be streaming available.

Best Odds Betting/Team Win Handicap
Canada
5/2 bet365 -7 10/11 bet365
Italy 4/11 paddypower +8 10.11 paddypower

Canada v Italy Betting Preview 3am Gmt

Zanni and Barbieri will make a difference to this Italian team from the shambles that was hammered by the Argentinian second side last week, but you couldn’t back them for love nor money. Italy were awful last week, ( i mean AWFUL!) and they could have lost by much more. They have one area of advantage over Canada, the scrum, and even that was diabolical last week once the ball left out the back of it. Ok, so Italy do have a backrow advantage in Zanni, who is real class, and Canada are missing the legendary Kleeburger from the squad. This means that not only are Canada a little light in the back row, they’ll also lose out on major gate revenue from the world famous Rugby & Reard Afficionados Association of Canada, (RABAAC). Also, in a further shocking development, the planned flight charter to Toronto from my local Grizzly Adams Appreciation Society (GAAS) is now in jeopardy, with officials remaining tightlipped (presumably?) as to whether it will now go ahead as planned.

My advice is to probably give this one a miss betting-wise. Canada beat the USA, who are a good few places below them on the IRB ranking list, by only 3 points last week . If you fancy a few hours of “highlights” on this one, with some prosaic commentary, you can find it here) By all accounts the handling was sloppy and wasteful. But Canada have a pretty good coaching ticket, and in my betting wrap for last weekend, I mentioned how Italy just looked totally devoid of any decent coaching. So with home advantage, better coaches (four for Canada to Italy’s one), and more desire, Canada could cause an upset, or at least stayin the plus handicap.

If you’re really fiending for some action come 3am Saturday morning, call your local escort agency. Alternatively, wait until right before the game and see if the handicap goes out a bit further- Italy have no defence nor attack, so if you can get +10 or more on Canada, it would be worth a small wager. Canada are at home, and do have a few pros in their ranks, so they won’t be terrible. If you can find an anytime tryscorer market (none up right now, I will update), DTH Van der Merwe is your man at anything over 6/4. Venditti would be worth a punt too if you can get 2 or 3 to 1. Blind Dave Pearson is refereeing the game, and the weather is supposed to be good, but don’t back the overs whatever you do.

Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Conor Trainor, 13 DTH Van der Merwe, 12 Mike Scholz, 11 Phil Mackenzie, 10 Matt Evans, 9 Sean White, 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Chauncey O’Toole, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 Tyler Hotson, 4 Jebb Sinclair, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Mike Pletch, 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Tiedemann, 17 Tom Dolezel, 18 Jon Phelan, 19 Nanyak Dala, 20 Edward Fairhurst, 21 Liam Underwood, 22 Ciaran Hearn.

Italy: 15 Alberto Benettin, 14 Giovambattista Venditti, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Tommaso Benvenuti, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Antonio Pavanello, 4 Joshua Furno, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni (c), 2 Tommaso D’Apice, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Lorenzo Romano, 18 Marco Fuser, 19 Mauro Bergamasco, 20 Edoardo Gori, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Giulio Toniolatti.

Fiji v Scotland Betting Preview 3am Gmt

Rugby Media Coverage

ESPNUK

Best Odds Betting/Team Win Handicap
Fiji
5/1victorchandler +13 evs bet365
Scotland 1/6 bet365 -12 10/11 paddypower

Scotland really should be winning this one by 20+ points. Fiji have made 8 changes after losing narrowly to Samoa in the Nations Cup, and Scotland are off the back of a win away to Australia. Talei of Edinburgh, the FIJI captain, is making alot of noise about how this is a huge game for Fijian guys to put their hand up to European clubs, and he’s right of course. But when you think that Fiji had their first team out against Samoa, in a game they really wanted to win, they can’t be anything but disappointed.

With a starting 15 of top flight professionals, and one recognisable European based player for Fiji (Talei) and with finishers such as Hogg and Visser starting, Scotland should beat the handicap of -12 at paddypower. When anytime tryscorer markets come out, if there’s anything better than 6/4 for both Hogg and Visser, we’ll be taking it.

** updated pick- if you are indeed staying up late for this one, and want something to get you through it, over 4.5 tries at 5/6 in ladbrokes and paddypower looks a good pick. Scotland won’t be out for anything but tries, Visser and Hogg should get Scotland firing, and Fiji should get a one or couple too. Probably a better pick than the handicap albeit at a slightly lower price**

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Max Evans, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Scott, 11 Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 John Barclay, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Richie Gray, 4 Alastair Kellock, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford (c), 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Geoff Cross, 18 Tom Ryder, 19 Richie Vernon, 20 Chris Cusiter, 21 Duncan Weir, 22 Sean Lamont.

Fiji: 15 Isimeli Koniferedi, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Wereniki Goneva, 12 Aloisio Buto, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Jonetai Ralulu, 9 Nikola Matawalu, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Iliese Ratuva, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Apisai Naikatini, 3 Setefano Somoca, 2 Viliame Veikoso, 1 Jeremaia Yanuyanutawa.
Replacements: 16 Tuatpati Talemaitoga, 17 Waisea Daveta/Graham Dewes, 18 Josefa Domolailai, 19 Kelepi Ketedromo, 20 Nemia Kenatale, 21 Kameli Ratuvou, 22 Metuisela Talebula.

Argentina v France Betting Preview 10.10 pm gmt

Rugby Media Coverage

Nothing official yet, likely to be streaming available from France.

Best Odds Betting/Team Win Handicap
Argentina
13/8 bet365 +3 10/11 padypower
France 8/13 paddypower -3 10.11 paddypower

paddypower is the only bookie with prices up at this time, we will update when better ones appear.

Argentina have continued in a slightly experimental vein by not playing their srongest team, seemingly saving them for the Four Nations tournament later this summer. Despite having a weaker team than this out last week v Italy, they still managed to hammer Italy’s first side without Parisse. No matter how bad Italy were, this was still an achievment for alot of Argentina based players, who all seem to be seriously hungry to make up the numbers and get on this Four Nations tour. That hunger is not to be underestimated here.

The fact remains though that not much of this Pumas side is recognisable to outsiders if you look past Contepomi, Lozada (Edinburgh), Mieres (Exeter),and Tuculet who has been swithed to outside centre from full back, where he normally plays for Sale Sharks.

Saint Andre was supposed to be playing a younger side than he has put out, and he seems caught in two minds here, mixing the very old with the very new. I think it’s best to ignore the fact that he’ll learn nothing here, and just ask whether France will be motivated enough to come out and front up. I think they will. There’s far too much class in this French team to lose this game once they turn up, but with the cap at -3, and the weather due to be 35 degrees (probably a bit lower at 6 o’clock their time) there’ll be some tired bodies in the second half. I think the better bet is France to win by 1-12 points with Argentinian hunger for touring spots keeping them in touch (i’ll put the best odds up when markets are out) and the second half to have more points than the first with fatigue seting in for defences. Picamoles off the back of a scrum move should get a try- Italy had countless moves last week that went nowhere, but if Picamoles had been playing he could have scored a hatrick.  Ouedrago could be good fo a punt too, odds dependent of course. Again, i’ll update odds as they appear.

The referee is George Clancy, and many seasoned punters would argue that whatever way the market moves, back the opposite way.  That’s up to you.

Argentina: 15 Roman Miralles, 14 Belisario Agulla, 13 Joaquin Tuculet, 12 Felipe Contepomi (captain), 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Tomas Leonardi, 7 Tomas De la Vega, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Esteban Lozada, 4 Benjamin Macome, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Bruno Postiglioni, 1 Eusebio Guinazu.
Replacements: 16 Andres Bordoy, 17 Pablo Henn, 18 Rodrigo Bruno, 19 Rodrigo Baez, 20 Tomas Cubelli, 21 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 22 Facundo Barrea.

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Jean Marcellin Buttin, 13 Wesley Fofana, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Yoann Huget , 10 Francois Trinh Duc, 9 Morgan Parra , 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Yoan Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape (c), 3 David Attoub, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Yvan Watremez.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Romain Taofifenua, 19 Alexandre Lapandry, 20 Maxime Machenaud, 21 Frederic Michalak, 22 Maxime Mermoz.

Rugby Betting Wrap, International Weekend One, Top 14 Final, 10 June 2012

New Zealand v Ireland,

Australia v Wales,

South Africa v England,

Argentina v Italy,

Toulouse v Toulon

Rugby Betting Review

A decent rugby punting weekend on the International games overall, with a few very entertaining games.

New Zealand v Ireland Result 42-10

Value bets highlighted in preview

1. Sean O Brien to score a try at 12/1- this one came agonisingly close, with O Brien getting over the line only for the try to be called back by Nigel Owens as disallowed, because Heaslip apparently hadn’t separated the ball from his boot in the quick tap. A little over zealous by Nigel considering the game was well over at this point. How he could be so sure in that split second that Heaslip fouled the ball is beyond me. People pay alot of money to go and see these games, and more specifically, tries. What happened to benefit of the doubt going to the attacking team?

2. Drop goal anytime 13/8. This one didn’t materialise unfortunately as the game was well away from Ireland by the end of the first half, something I hadn’t anticipated as I thought New Zealand would be a bit rusty.

Overall the game exposed the general ineffective Irish attacking play under Kidney, and some strange selection decisions. I always wonder why Ireland don’t give themselves a better chance by playing the provincial halfbacks from the start. Here we had Murray and Sexton starting, and then had Reddan and ROG finishing the game when they were chasing the game for pride.

Surely this first game in the series was Ireland’s best chance of achieving the Holy Grail of a Kiwi victory? And yet, Kidney didn’t start with Leinster’s three time Heineken Cup winning halfbacks Reddan and Sexton (honourable mention for Isaac Boss here). He could have even started with O’Gara and Murray and it would have made more sense. Kidney has been doing this for the past two seasons- surely he has learned all he can at this point on the combo’s? Very confusing decisions from Kidney, to say the least.

I didn’t think that McFadden should have been on the wing in this game, nor Earls at inside centre –similar to the halfback situation above, surely they should have been the other way around? Sure enough Savea’s first try that opened the floodgates came directly from these two having a misunderstanding in defence. And it was all one way traffic from there on in. Ireland battled hard and didn’t stop fighting, but had no answer to the black-tide, going through the phases the little time they had the ball, but having no real incision. On first impressions the -25 available already from bet365 is a decent bet. I’d be amazed too if Savea anytime try scorer is anything over evens when the market comes out later in the week- this kid looks one for the future, and if he starts, he’s a banker to score a try i reckon.

** Betting update- New Zealand available at -23 in paddypower, New Zealand back in Christ Church- hard to ignore this one**

Australia v Wales Result 27-19

Value Bets highlighted in Preview

1. Australia 1-12 winning margin is 7/4 – this one came home nicely for us, and Australia duly delivered and reacted to their disappointing loss V Scotland with a ballsy performance that was dominant overall. This looked slightly in jeopardy during Wales’ purple patch, but Australia fought the fatigue and came through, responding throughout to Wales’s scores with scores of their own.

2. Toby Faleteau is 25/1 1st try scorer. – Faleteau was active but Wales didn’t bring out their customary fast start and Faleteau is now out of the tour completely with a broken hand unfortunately.

3. The draw at 20/1 is one to consider – this one looked on when Wales came back, and the way these two have finished so close in recent years you’d have been a brave person to back against it. My 2 euro disappeared though with Australia’s final try! Curses!

4. No try scorer is 25/1.The high Octane start from Australia blew this one out of the water really, and the tight game that would have been conducive to no try never really developed, Thankfully actually, as it was a very entertaining game.

As we had mentioned, we had an inkling that maybe Wales were being given a bit too much respect on the back of their winning streak and so it proved. There was a point when they came back into the game as the Aussies started to wilt after a heavy game v Scotland last week, and they were very hard done by on the Australian 22 when the awful Craig Joubert called Pocock for interfering in the ruck, the ball squirted out and ruined the Welsh attack, and yet Joubert carried on regardless. Joubert will never be forgiven from me for handing New Zealand the World Cup final 2012, and he demonstrated here again he lacks decision making ability, and confuses himself as well as everyone else.

Despite that Joubert shambles, Wales never really looked like winning this game at any point, but had enough quality to stay in touch and bring the 1-12 home. Even though Jamie Roberts has had a middling season, they missed him here as their two centres with very little rugby of late had little impact. Warburton made some ground with ball in hand but threw some woeful passes that stifled Welsh attack. In general Wales never looked that interested really. Cuthbert was the only one on the field that looked to have any urgency at all. He looks good for a try at some point in this series, but the anytime prices are prohibitively small. If I got 2/1 i’d take it but anything lower is a pisstake by the bookies away from home with a weakened side. Perhaps Wales’ lack of urgency will change in the remaining tests, but with North and Faleteau out, two big parts of their game plan have been negated.

For Australia, Genia was unreal, along with Hooper and I felt Rob Horne had a great game despite butchering a simple overlap in the first half. With Welsh injuries, and Australian morale flying high when a lot of people were writing them off, the -6 available with bet365 looks a steal to me. There’s a common theme here in case you haven’t noticed- that barring some crazy weather, all of the Southern hemisphere handicaps for next weekend look very generous right now, including South Africa’s v England.

South Africa v England Result 22-17

Value Bets Highlighted in Preview

1.I can’t ignore the South Africa -6 and 7 at evens – this didn’t work out in the end but hey, that’s gambling! Foden at the death scuppered the minus 6. Realistically South Africa should have been further out but this can always happen at the end of games

2. Tuilagi 1st try scorer at 14/1 is a decent punt– Always worth a punt this, but generally his form from the Premiership final continued here. Made some good ground in contact, but it was a kicking game really.

3. Pietersen 11/1 1st try scorer. Try scorer bets are always small bets for interest. Pietersen had a good game but looked slightly subdued, possibly tired from his Super 15 exertions. but he’ll get something over the tests I reckon.

I wasn’t too disappointed when England fought back into contention to eventually ruin the handicap, (when it looked like running away from them), as I had a medium sized double on Australia and South Africa to win by 1-12 points. I don’t like putting up doubles on here, but they have their moments and I might put up a special longshot section soon enough.

England started pretty well here and were drawing at half time. A lot of kicking from both sides punctuated a lot of excitement, but that’s what happens when you have the Steyn’s on one side, and Mike Brown and Ben Foden on the other. We alluded to Lancaster’s Foden/Brown shoe-horning experiment in the preview, saying it may blow up in England’s face, but on the balance of things it worked out ok. But it was a precarious balance –Foden was on hand at some crucial junctures to snuff out South African Attacks, but they lost out slightly in that, I don’t think I once seen him and Ashton combine as they often do for England and Northampton. Mike Brown had a decent game overall, despite kicking out on the full a couple of times, but too often he ran back into contact and there was very little support there to help him out. Not his fault, but you have to wonder, had Foden been there with Ashton reading him off his shoulder, would England have looked more like winning?

It’ll be interesting to see how the backline shapes up with Barritt out injured. Christian Wade isn’t tested at this level, but he’s exciting, and he’s a try scorer, and if England are to get a win on this series they’ll have to score tries in the first 79 minutes. If they stuck him on the wing instead of Foden and used both Foden and Brown at full back, with Joseph in the centre, England could beat a big physical South African side that isn’t the most mobile. Farrell offered nothing really on Saturday, (someone needs to have a chat with him about the grubber kicks), and he is most definitely not on form after an absolute shambles of a game against the Barbarians. I don’t like to use definitives, but it was the worst display from an international out half I may have ever seen! Sure it was a nothing game…but he was brutal. Toby Flood has to start next week if he’s fit. If Farrell starts again, it’s hard to see England staying in touch.

As it was, South Africa’s team talk at half time must have noted the fact that this English team are simply much less experienced, smaller, and younger them. They came out in the second half and made their physical presence and experience count by going through the phases and simply running at England. There was an inevitability to the tries but, all credit to England , when it looked like they were about to be on the end of another South African hiding, they re-grouped and kept it respectable, even threatening to win for a small period.

Betting-wise, Barritt being out is a big defensive blow against the physicality that the Springboks bring. I’d expect the second game to start just like the second half did yesterday, and unless Lancaster decides to really go for a running game, they probably won’t win.  Hopefully it’ll be dry to at least make this a possibility. South Africa -10 at bet365 (the only bookie with prices up yet) is good value, as I feel Lancaster won’t change things, and England will have to deal with the same defensive effort tiring them out as on Saturday. If however he does change things, South Africa will have a challenge on their hands that they may not deal with. I’ll be keeping an eye out for prices on England halftime/South Africa fulltime (if Lancaster changes it up more than he has to- which he probably won’t)

** Betting update- South Africa available at -9 in paddypower, SA playing at altitude, and some favourable positional switches- i’m on this one already**

Toulouse v Toulon Result 18-12

Value bets highlighted in Preview

1. Toulouse winning by 1-12 points –This one rolled home nicely, but we were blessed at the death when David Smith fumbled an unsympathetic pass with an almost certain try on the cards

2. Half time/full time Toulouse at evens –This one was agonisingly dashed with McAlister hitting the post on the stroke of half time with a drop goal under the posts, and then an offside penalty given to Toulon. Whiskers away.

3. A drop goal to be scored 4/6– see just above. In total four attempt were missed, three narrowly, one off the post!

4. Toulouse half time/Toulon full time 9/1 (late pick before kick-off, put in preview). – Again, that drop off the posts cost this one any chance of life, Toulon could well have won at the end, and 9/1 was a great price.

In the end Toulouse were very lucky to win this, with Toulon almost in at the death for a try but for some bad passing and handling. Had they gone to hand cleanly, they would have been in, with a conversion for the title. I was happy with the 1-12 coming in, and unhappy the 9/1 htft didn’t come in. It was a typical French final, with murder in the breakdown and plenty of drama. There’s not much to talk about betting-wise after it as that’s the end of the season, except for that it’ll be tough for Toulon to pick themselves up mentally next season after this defeat and the chance they spurned. I wouldn’t want to be David Smith right now who had a good game against Clermont but was pretty bad in the few games previous to that. Hopefully he’s surrounded by people who’ll remind him it’s only a game.

Argentina v Italy Result 37-22

Argentina were -12 at 10/11 for this game. I only got to see the second half of this game when I finally found a feed online (it wasn’t televised), but what I saw of Italy was not encouraging at all.

Argentina had rested the majority of their top players for this game, in anticipation of the 4 nations tournament. They had a lot of guys putting their hands up to go on tour, from regional club sides in Argentina, and they played with a lot of heart. Only Contepomi and Exeter’s Mieres were recognisable in this line-up, and yet they beat an Italian side that was close to full strength save Parisee.

Italy had a number of chances to exploit huge amounts of space in the Argentinian line, and they couldn’t do a thing with it. I was aghast at times to be honest, with the ineptitude that they showed in attack as soon as the ball left the scrum. There is a complete lack of pace there, and the coaching doesn’t seem up to much. They look to have gone backwards and I fear for them in the 6 nations to be honest. I know it’s far away, but they’ll be wooden spooners next year I’m almost certain of it.

I actually fancied Italy to win this, and tweeted that I was putting a few quid on it as they had by far the better set of players on paper. From a punting perspective, don’t write off the Argentinians to win a game in the 4 nations. This second team was powerful, if lacking slightly in refinement, with plenty of pace. Those who make the tour will complement the senior full side well I’m really looking forward to seeing them this summer. For now, I’m not even sure if there is another Italian game (I assume there will be), and if there is, don’t touch Italy with a penny of your money.

Stop by the site during the week as we’ve a bit of U20’s rugby punting on the cards Tuesday