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Rugby Championship Predictions Australia v New Zealand: Wallabies On The Plus

It’ll be about pride and passion when the Wallabies aim to ambush the All Blacks back on home soil on Sunday (8 AM South African time).

Rugby Betting Handicaps

It’ll be about pride and passion when the Wallabies aim to ambush the All Blacks back on home soil on Sunday (8 AM South African time), writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Australia v New Zealand

(Saturday 5.05 PM SA time)

Optus Stadium in Perth is the platform on which the Rugby Championship resumes as Australia and New Zealand collide in what doubles as the third Bledisloe Cup clash eight days after originally scheduled due to stricter Covid measures, which threatened to curtail the competition.

Instead, the trans-Tasman rivals will wrap up the second round on Sunday before the remainder of the Southern Hemisphere showpiece is contested in Brisbane. It’s a golden opportunity for the Wallabies to earn redemption at home while the three touring teams spend several weeks on assignment Down Under.

After the record 57-22 loss at Eden Park last time out, which saw the All Blacks retain their grip on the Bledisloe Cup for the 19th straight year as it followed a 33-25 win seven days prior, Australia needed all the help they could get and the Covid chaos serves that purpose on several levels.

Most pertinent to the Perth battle, it gave them a much-needed extra week to regroup from the horrors in Auckland and has resulted in a weakened All Blacks squad as stand-in captain Sam Whitelock and the pivotal pair of Aaron Smith and Richie Mo’unga stayed behind in the Land of the Long White Cloud, as did Dane Coles, who’s on the injured list along with regular captain Sam Cane.

All five of these key players are at the core of the leadership group, thus, the men in black will be sans their usually steely resolve and clear direction. How well the stand-ins step up will determine how steep that drop-off will be, but they won’t be bulletproof in that regard as they usually are.

That challenge falls onto the shoulders of Ardie Savea, who’ll captain the Kiwis for the very first time, and his deputies Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett – all experienced campaigners but none natural or seasoned skippers. The Wallabies will be determined to get off to a good start to really test the mettle of the new leadership trio and shuffled side.

The hosts will be without Hunter Paisami and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, however, they are not nearly as integral to the composition of the side as the missing stars are to New Zealand, especially the first-choice halfback combination of Smith and Mo’unga.


An upset is a stretch, but the Australians should be able to cover the handicap against the weakened All Blacks.

Prediction: New Zealand by 14.

Suggested Bet: Australia +17.5 at 1.93.

Value Bet: New Zealand by 11-15 at 6.00

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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