Free Picks: Argentina vs. South Africa in Rugby Championship

Richard O'Hagan

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:29 PM GMT

Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 6:29 PM GMT

South Africa were runaway winners of their opening match in the 2013 Rugby Championship and are short betting odds to repeat the feat this weekend.


Argentina suffered the worst defeat in the history of the Southern Hemisphere tournament, with South Africa running up a massive 73 points against them in Soweto. Now they have to face the same opposition in the reverse fixture this weekend and must be fearing a repeat performance.

No fewer than eight different players scored tries for South Africa, but most galling for the Pumas will be the penalty try also awarded against their markedly inferior scrum. The Argentinians have always prided themselves on the power of their front eight, but their tendency to direct their scrummaging power towards the middle of the pack is somewhat negated by the new scrummaging laws, which make it even harder to get around the rules which require straight driving at the scrum.

Also check out our free picks on Australia & New Zealand's Rugby Championship match.

The sheer number of different Springbok scorers shows just how dominant they were around the field, with the scores being evenly split between forwards and backs. On his return to the side after a two year absence Fourie du Preez was a force of nature at scrum half, but he will be missing this weekend as the terms of his release from his Japanese club side only allow for him to play in home games. On last weekend’s performance it is a crying shame that he will miss out on taking on Australia’s Will Genia, arguably the best number nine in the world, the following weekend.

Another South African who won’t be making the trip to Argentina is prop Trevor Nayakane. Although it was announced as a ‘breach of protocol’, it turned out that the forward had merely missed a flight and a video session and Nayakane was at best a travelling reserve for this game, but the decision to leave him behind for something so relatively trivial shows how determined the Springbok management is that nothing should disrupt their challenge for the Rugby Championship. 

Argentina did at least manage to cross the Springbok line, but it was in the final minute of the game. Veteran Felipe Contepomi scored that try and indeed all of his side’s 13 points and was pretty much a one man team so far as the Argentines were concerned.

Of course, that margin of victory makes South Africa very short odds favorites for this game, with a best price of 1/6 with Paddy Power, whilst Argentina are trading at 4/1 across the board

Instead, therefore, you need to look to some of the more esoteric markets. There won’t be a 60+ point margin of victory (indeed, this fixture last year led to the Pumas’ only point of the season as they drew 16-16) but backing a 30 point or more Springbok win will get you 7/1 at Ladbrokes.

You might also look at an often-overlooked market, which is for one side not to trail at all in the match. The overall dominance of the South Africans last weekend makes this a highly likely option and at 6/5 with Bet365 you can still make money on it. 

Another bet to try (no pun intended) is on whether there will be a penalty try. Given the Argentine weakness at the set piece the chances of this look good this week, which is why you can only get a short best price of - short betting odds but still better than on a Springbok win.
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