New Zealand will be expected to continue their dominance of Australia and Argentina are eyeing back-to-back wins over South Africa in the final round of the Rugby Championship.
The All Blacks’ hopes of pulling off a clean sweep in the tournament were ended when they were last month held to a 16-16 draw by South Africa, who are a win away from clinching the title.
New Zealand have won 10 of their last 11 Tests against the Wallabies heading into the Bledisloe Cup showdown in Perth on Saturday.
Argentina entertain the Springboks in Salta on the same day after losing 16-10 against Michael Cheika’s men in round two.
Take a look at the pick of the Opta stats ahead of round three.
— Qantas Wallabies (@qantaswallabies) August 8, 2019
Australia v New Zealand
– New Zealand have won their last six Rugby Championship games against Australia on the bounce, despite having trailed at half-time in two of the last three encounters.
– This will be the first rugby Test played at Optus Stadium. The Wallabies are undefeated in their last six games played in Western Australia.
– New Zealand have won 11 of their last 12 Tests away from home. The only loss in that span came against Ireland in Dublin last November.
– Cheika’s side Australia are chasing back-to-back wins in the competition for the first time since 2016, when they defeated South Africa 23-17 and Argentina 36-20.
– World champions New Zealand have failed to score more than two tries in four of their last five Test matches, this after a run of 12 consecutive matches in which they scored four or more times.
– Australia have the best line-out success rate (89 per cent) of any team in this year’s Rugby Championship 2019, nine percentage points higher than the All Blacks, who have the lowest rate.
— Super Rugby/TRC (@SuperRugby) August 7, 2019
Argentina v South Africa
– The Pumas will be on the hunt for consecutive wins against South Africa for the first time after a 32-19 win in their last encounter.
– Two of the previous three games between Argentina and South Africa at Estadio Ernesto Maltearena have been decided by a margin of just two points.
– South Africa’s past seven Tests on the road have all been decided by a single-figure margin; the Springboks’ results have been evenly split during that run, winning three, losing three and drawing once.
– Argentina have conceded 14 penalties in the tournament, the fewest of any team.
– South Africa have scored the most tries in this year’s Rugby Championship, their tally of six being twice as many as any other side.
– Herschel Jantjies is the only player to have scored multiple tries (three) in the opening two rounds, the scrum-half has made just seven carries.
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