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.