Rugby World Cup Pool C: Argentina to prove too tough a test for Tonga
Hugo Barnard | October 4, 2015
Argentina will be looking to all but cement their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a win in their maiden meeting with Tonga, in what is now the most important match of Pool C with so much at stake for both nations.
The two teams have one victory apiece from their two group games so far, and the tenacious Tongans (2/1 with Coral to get a penalty in the first scoring play market) certainly need another if they are to have any hopes of reaching the last eight for the first time in history.
Tonga, of course, only have to look back to the last finals for some some inspiration going into this clash, where they famously shocked the rugby world by beating France at the same stage of the tournament.
However, Argentina always seem to peak at the Rugby World Cup, with 10 wins coming from their previous 14 groups games, so are heavy odds-on favourites at 1/20. Whereas, if the Pacific Islanders want to cause another upset, they will have to do it as 14/1 outsiders.
Fetu’u Vainikolo became Tonga’s leading all-time tryscorer after crossing over in the shock loss to Georgia earlier in the pool opener, and has an extremely impressive strike rate of 15 in 22 starts.
The 30-year-old winger missed the last game against Namibia through injury, but should be back and raring to go and is a good bet to be first try scorer at 16/1, while he is 9/4 to cross anytime.
New Zealand-born Telusa Veainu, meanwhile, ran in two tries against the Africans in their last outing, including the opener, and despite only six caps to his name he has the same odds available for both markets.
Argentina will be without arguably their greatest ever player, the injured Juan Martin Hernandez, who is nicknamed ‘El Mago’ (the magician) by Pumas fans.
However, looking to fill his boots is the incredibly talented young winger Santiago Cordero, who dazzles opposition players with his quick feet and low centre of gravity. After getting two tries against Georgia, he will be keen to extend his World Cup tally by opening the scoring on Sunday with odds of 7/1, and odds-on at 4/5 in the anytime market.
Coral’s betting tip: Tonga are one of only two teams to receive three red cards at Rugby World Cups, and with the pressure on this match being so high their discipline could slip again. Argentina winger Cordero, therefore, is a great shout to penetrate the Pacific Islanders’ defence and score the first try at 7/1