Australia will head into Sunday’s second Test with New Zealand confident they can knock over the All Blacks, despite blowing the chance to take a 1-0 lead in the Bledisloe Cup series. Get BettingPro.com's predictions and tips for the second Test match.
READ MORE: Check out the Live Rugby Union odds for the remainder of the season
New Zealand and the Wallabies were all level at 16-16 last weekend in Wellington, when Australia had a chance to win the game with time running out. A penalty saw Reece Hodge have the opportunity to win the game from 54 metres, but his effort bounced back off the post and back into play.
They ensured the game continued until the ball went dead. The All Blacks still had chances to win the game themselves, but they refused to attempt a drop goal as they looked to win the game in style with a try. That backfired as the Wallabies defence held firm.
Australia really believe they are a proper match for the All Blacks, prop forward Allan Alaalatoa insists they can easily step up a gear or two in Auckland and take a series lead before playing two more matches on home soil.
You can tell the All Blacks are a ;little bit concerned because they have already started to put the pressure on referee Angus Gardner, urging him to clamp down on what New Zealand believe to be unnecessary off-the-ball tactics.
New Zealand were far from impressed with how the Wallabies targeted some of their key players, with Richie Mo’unga being on the end of a number of late hits that saw him pick up a shoulder injury.
The first Test was no doubt a thrilling and entertaining encounter, and I expect the one at Eden Park to be no different. I backed the All Blacks to win last weekend, and they will still be thanking their lucky stars for the upright that saved them.
I do think they will bounce back and take a series lead in the Bledisloe Cup. Australia are very close to getting on top of New Zealand, and they may do that in the final two Tests in Australia. I just feel that after a few questionable decisions last time out, the All Blacks will get the 50-50 calls to ensure they win this one by 1-12 points.
The opening affair will be tight, and I am backing New Zealand to calm the nerves of everyone inside the stadium – yes, there will be a crowd, by taking the lead with a successful penalty goal.