Matches on the 29th September are as follows, for the penultimate round of this year’s Rugby Championship
South Africa v Australia (Port Elizabeth) 4.05pm GMT
These two teams experienced contrasting fortunes in Round 4. South Africa achieved the huge surprise result of beating New Zealand in Wellington while the Australians lost at home to Argentina
South Africa do not lack individual talent but in a new coaching set up and a predominantly young team consistency has been a problem. Key individuals raised their game in Wellington notably Malcolm Marx but also Du Toit, Dyantyi, Mostert and Whiteley were all brilliant particularly defensively.
Few had given the Springboks any chance of winning the game, having lost their last two matches and seemingly dropped below the standard that drove them to a 2-1 series win over England in June. Mindful the All Blacks have scored 38 or more in each of their Rugby Championship games this season, they knew they would need to score more than 30 themselves to have a chance.
Returning home for this match, in second place in the championship with confidence up they should be favourites to consolidate the Wellington win
At home to Argentina Australia missed lots of opportunities including a late chance with an overlap to score a try to win the game and they slumped to a fifth defeat in seven tests this season, and with it to the bottom of this Championship league table.
The upshot of these results is that South Africa are 7 point handicap favourites at 10/11 here having been five point underdogs when the teams met in Australia three weeks ago a match Australia won. I am going to be contrarian to the recency bias, expect a reaction from Australia and back them +7 at 10/11 with William Hill
Argentina v New Zealand (Buenos Aires) 7.40pm GMT
Argentina produced a determined display to seal a 23-19 victory over the Wallabies in Robina, their first victory over the hosts on Australian soil for 35 years.
Tries from Nicolas Sanchez and Bautista Delguy formed part of a productive first 40 minutes for the visitors and helped put them into a promising 17-14 lead at the interval.
Sanchez’s penalty extended Los Pumas’ cushion to 20-14 before the home side created a simple run-in for Dane Haylett-Petty and clawed it back to 20-19.
Argentina kept their composure and three minutes from time, a 50-metre penalty from Emiliano Boffelli would prove to be the match-winner.
The New Zealand home loss to South Africa was in some ways a shock that the game needed as it had become very predictable watching the three time world champions dominate sport since 2011.
In the South Africa match, 36 was the most points New Zealand have conceded in a home game. Despite the South African performance this was a loss of the All Blacks own making, with key mistakes leading to interceptions and two time World Player of the year Beauden Barrett missing four kicks at goal, a key difference in a close game.
Here of course New Zealand are favourites, -17 at 10/11 on the points handicap and I would expect them to cover this having been jolted out of complacency with that shock loss.