After New Zealand narrowly overcame England last Saturday and Ireland beat Argentina, the two top ranked sides in world Rugby meet in Dublin on Saturday
New Zealand came back from 15-0 down at a wet Twickenham thanks to great game craft and immense performances from key players such as Retallick and Smith. Retallick in particular disrupted a lot of England line out ball and was probably the difference between the two sides as New Zealand got the slight rug of the green on the late TMO decision to disallow the England try
Ireland warmed up for what should be this epic contest by beating Argentina 28-17 victory that came at a cost for the Six Nations Grand Slam holders.
The hosts scored three tries to the visitors’ one but lost flank Sean O’Brien, scrumhalf Kieran Marmion and centre Robbie Henshaw, who was hurt in the warm-up, to injuries. Their losses could prove a spanner in the works for head coach Joe Schmidt’s plans for this match
Ireland are 2018 Grand Slam winners and a mature talented side a year out from the 2019 World Cup but those injuries together with the absence of world class scrum half Conor Murray are likely to prove the difference as they attempt to emulate their famous victory over the All-Blacks in Chicago two years ago
Odds for this match are New Zealand 4/9 Ireland 15/8 with Bet365. New Zealand are 6 point favourites on the handicap spread. This reflects the solidity of the Irish defence and the possibility of tough conditions for high scoring rugby
I think New Zealand will win by 1-12 points available in the markets at 8/5