The Rugby Championship comes to a close this weekend with Australia and Argentina both needing a miracle in order to steal the title away from New Zealand. Get BettingPro.com's predictions and tips for this game.
READ MORE: Check out the Live Rugby Union odds for the remainder of the season
Rugby Championship Predictions & Tips: Australia v Argentina (Saturday 08:45 GMT)
Australia would need to secure a win by a margin of 101 points or more in order to prevent New Zealand from lifting the Rugby Championship (Tr-Nations) for the 17th time, while Argentina would need to win by over 93 points.
New Zealand are currently five points clear of both the Wallabies and the Pumas and the laws state that if two or more teams finish on equal points the winner will be the team with the most victories, if they are also level then it will come down to the win record between the two teams. Points difference will come into play if the previous two rules are level, and that looks like what is going to happen this weekend.
Argentina’s hopes of claiming a win over the Wallabies have taken a massive hit with an off-the-field scandal raging through the camp.
Skipper Pablo Matera has had the armband stripped away and has been suspended for what the UAR (Argentine Rugby Union) claim he made ‘discriminatory and xenophobic’ comments. Team-mates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino have also been kicked out of the squad for the same reasons.
The controversial comments, which were first made between 2011-13, have resurfaced following their recent 38-0 defeat at the hands of New Zealand last weekend.
The absence of all three players will hurt the Argentina side, but comments like this cannot be ignored and the UAR have to be commended for their response. Some governing bodies might have waited until after the game before handing out any punishments, but they have proved they know what is right from wrong.
These two recently met on November 21 with the game ending in a 15-15 draw, I feel that was Argentina’s best chance of beating the Wallabies. This scandal will have deflated the rest of the camp and if they cannot put in a performance to honour football legend Diego Maradona in the right way, there is no way they will be lifted after this.
This scandal could benefit Australia massively, all the focus will be on the suspended players and the Wallabies will be able to concentrate on their own game. I am backing the Wallabies to win this one by 26-30 points.