Image thanks to www.skyscrapercity.com
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Can New Zealand produce another superhuman effort against Argentina similar to what they dished up against Australia two weeks ago? Yes, but! If they lift the foot off the pedal against Argentina fans probably wouldn’t be surprised. If the All Blacks do lower their guard would Argentina have the skill levels and pace to compete? Probably not.
Although Argentina’s record of 5 losses in as many matches may indicate a team without form those who saw the games against South Africa may beg to differ. To see a South African scrum completely dominated, as it was in Salta, would suggest this Argentine side is very capable. Perhaps not as skilled in the backs but they will certainly give the All Blacks biff if the Kiwis let their guard down. Argentina has never been totally demolished in their recent outings in New Zealand. Quite the opposite.
The weather forecast is for rain which may well reduce the impact New Zealand has out wide.This will be a most interesting clash. I can’t see New Zealand losing though.
Last Five Encounters
28.09.2013 New Zealand 33-15 in La Plata (Rugby Championship)
07.09.2013 New Zealand 28-13 in Hamilton (Rugby Championship)
29.09.2012 New Zealand 54-15 in Buenos Aires (Rugby Championship)
08.09.2012 New Zealand 21-5 in Wellington (Rugby Championship)
09.10.2011 New Zealand 33-10 in Auckland (World Cup, Quarter-final)
New Zealand has never lost to Argentina. The closest Argentina has managed was a 21-21 draw in 1985.
New Zealand Last Five P 5, W 4, D 1
23.08.2014 v Australia W 51-20 in Auckland (Bledisloe Cup, Rugby Champ.)
16.08.2014 v Australia D 12-12 in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup, Rugby Champ.)
21.06.2014 v England W 36-13 in Hamilton
14.06.2014 v England W 28-27 in Dunedin
07.06.2014 v England W 20-15 in Auckland
Argentina Last Five P 5, L 5
23.08.2014 v South Africa L 31-33 in Salta (Rugby Championship)
16.08.2014 v South Africa L 6-13 in Pretoria (Rugby Championship)
21.06.2014 v Scotland L 19-21 in Cordoba
14.06.2014 v Ireland L 17-23 in Tucuman
07.06.2014 v Ireland L 17-29 in Resistencia
Data from www.rugbyinternational.net
Prediction: New Zealand off their game to win by 20 points.
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Benjamin Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (Capt.), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Benjamin Franks, 18 Joseph Moody, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Samuel Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Malakai Fekitoa.
Head Coach: Steven Hansen
15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Lucas González Amorosino, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 6 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Mariano Galarza, 3 Ramiro Herrera,
2 Agustín Creevy (Capt.), 1 Marcos Ayerza.
16 Matías Cortese, 17 Luca Noguera Paz, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro,
19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Rodrigo Báez, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Juan Imhoff.
Head Coach: Daniel Hourcade