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Preview – All Blacks v Argentina

Argentina is coming off a great win over the Springboks as they head to New Zealand this week to face the All Blacks who themselves beaten Australia home and away in their first two test of the Rugby Championship.

Although the Argentinians can feel confident and happy with the win at home against the Springboks they must not be under any illusion that they can do the same against the All Blacks.

The All Blacks have never lost against Argentina in test rugby with 27 wins and one draw, the closest the Pumas came.

The test will be played at Trafalgar Park in Nelson and the first time a test will be played since the 2011 World Cup.

With an average of 740 meters gained per game this far in the tournament the Argentinians will have to be up to it in defence.

Hansen has made a few changes to his side, with resting Beauden Barrett which gives Richie Mo’unga his first start against Argentina.

Other changes sees Tahuriorangi on the bench set to make his debut for the All Blacks. Milder-Skudder also returns for the first time since October.

Hansen has also given a well earned starting place for TJ Perenara at half-back. He has been the inform nine in New Zealand this year and it will be good to see how he control the game from nine this weekend.

Karl Tu’inukuafe will start at loosehead prop, in for the injured Joe Moody, and Tim Perry comes into the prop reserves. In the second-row, Scott Barrett starts, with Sam Whitelock moving to the bench. Shannon Frizell will make his second Test start at blindside flanker, with Ardie Savea at seven, with Luke Whitelock comes into the loose forward reserves.

The Pumas has made four changes to there side with Garcia Botta entering the front row to replace Juan Figallo who has returned to his club Saracens, while Tomas Lezana will start on the flank with Pablo Matera dropping to the bench.

Scrumhalf Martin Landajo gets his first start since playing Scotland in June with Tomas Cubelli in the reserves, while Jeronimo de la Fuenta replaces Bautista Ezcurra in the centres.

There are also three new faces among the replacements in Juan Pablo Zeiss, Julian Montoya and Gaston Cortes.

Argentina will look to put pressure on the All Blacks upfront but they must be weary on how the referee will manage the offside line. They were very flat against the Springboks and another referee can blow them out of the contest.

With some exciting players in the back for the Pumas this can be an exciting match on Saturday if the Argentinians can keep up with the All Blacks.

We expect a close contest for the first twenty odd minutes but we are likely to see the All Blacks pull away after that.

Prediction: It is difficult not to see another bonus point win for the All Blacks, All Blacks by 23 atleast.

Teams:

New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Samuel Whitelock, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

Argentina:15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Tomas Lezana, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti,  3 Chaparro Tetaz, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Garcia Botta

Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18 Gaston Cortez, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Pablo Matera, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Bautista Ezcurra, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia

 

 

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