It should be as pure a contest of rugby as it gets – both teams possess good set pieces, with Argentina’s particularly feared, and Australia’s on the improve, and a set of backs that know no other way than to attack the line with pace and skill.
This game is a mouthwatering prospect for rugby fans.
Long heralded as one of those teams that specialises in ten-man rugby, Argentina have long since abandoned the methods that focussed on mauling, scrumming and kicking for territory and converting penalties.
Led by players with great vision, skill and pace like Nicolas Sanchez and Juan Imhoff, they have assembled a backline that’s up there with the best in the world.
When you consider that they also have a front row that is feared, experience and power in Leonardo Senatore and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, power and desire in Pablo Matera, and one of the most skilful and deceptive forwards in the world in captain Agustin Creevy, this is a team that’s capable of beating the best in the world.
Now ranked number four in the world, and thoroughly deserving of it, Argentina are a far-cry from the Pumas of old, and are no walkovers.
Australia might be favourites in this match, but at $1.38 compared to $3.08 of the Pumas on a certain Australian betting site, that seems a little short. This game could and should go down to the wire.
Australia have been boosted by the announcement that David Pocock and Israel Folau have both been deemed fit to play and named in the side. However, the news isn’t all good as prop Scott Sio will miss with an elbow complaint.
Argentina, meanwhile, have all their backrowers fit and healthy, no real issues in the back and as solid a front five as an international team could hope for. They have only one change, Marcelo Bosch coming back from suspension, pushing out Matias Moroni.
To win the Wallabies are going to want to lift their form from last week when they were ultimately a little lucky to escape defeat at the hands of a determined Scotland.
Had it not been for a controversial penalty late in the piece, the Wallabies would be watching this one from the sidelines despite going undefeated in the pools stage.
Argentina will know that they’re trying to pull off an upset victory, but it’s not something that is going to phase Los Pumas.
After all they went into last week’s match as the underdogs, coming up against the Pool D victors in Ireland, after finishing runners-up to the All Blacks in their own pool.
It was no concern for them however, as they thrashed the Irish 43-20, producing by a wide margin the second most convincing win of the quarter-finals – behind New Zealand’s 62-13 demolition of France, of course.
They’ll enter the match with no shortage of confidence, while there’s no guaranteeing the same for the Wallabies after such a close call in a match they were expected to win comfortably last week.
The return of Pocock should help the Wallabies’ fortunes though as the tandem between himself and Michael Hooper has been most effective when in play so far in this World Cup. Still, should he prove short of fitness it could be a disaster.
The Wallabies have won nine of the last ten meetings between these two sides, and Argentina have never managed to defeat them at the World Cup. Should Los Pumas be victorious, it will be a major achievement for Argentinian rugby.
They’re a team with plenty of youth to offer, and after an impressive rise to the semi-finals, this could be their chance to well and truly put themselves on the map. Even if not, they are likely to be even better placed than they are now come 2019.
Still, Australia are a more experienced side, in fact with a combined 876 caps this will be the most experienced Wallabies side to take to field in a World Cup match.
Prediction: Australia’s experience should get the job done, just. Wallabies by 2 points.