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Rugby World Cup 2015 semis: Australia to edge Argentina

Australia have history of big wins over Pumas, but sneaking past Scotland suggests punters should avoid backing a repeat of that with narrow margins safer.

Australia’s nervy 35-34 win over Scotland in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals threw up plenty of talking points, but a repeat of recent big wins over Argentina in the semis wasn’t one of them.

Punters who expected the Wallabies to wallop Vern Cotter’s Tartan team were left disappointed, and the Southern Hemisphere heavyweights were fortunate to make the final four at all.

The Aussies thus look a little short at best odds of 4/9 with BetVictor to win their semi clash with the Pumas, who overcame injury-hit Ireland by a 20-point margin that reflected how many were missing from Joe Schmidt’s Six Nations champions.

William Hill go a top price of 5/2 that Argentina can upset Australia, but they have won this fixture just once outside native soil. It is a big ask for the Pumas to pounce again, despite the fine form of top tryscoring threat Juan Imhoff.

Head coach Michael Cheika will surely have had stern words with Wallabies kicker and fly half Bernard Foley. He was so confident with the boot against England and Wales, but wavered in the first-half when playing Scotland before rediscovering his scoring touch after the break.

Australia cannot carry anyone out of form against the dangerous Pumas, who have reached the semis for the second time in three Rugby World Cup tournaments. With Argentina becoming increasingly consistent, the signs point to a close contest with the Wallabies.

This is also reflected in most bookmakers offering a handicap market set at 6 points. Betway offer even-money that match betting favourites Australia can cover that, but it’s a scant return whatever punters are willing to invest.

Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell carry plenty of try threat for the Wallabies, but there was an awful lot of admiration for the way the Pumas defence conducted themselves in large spells against the Irish.

Paddy Power’s winning margin markets appeal as they are set at intervals of seven points. The lower bracket (1-7) is a superb 16/5, while punters who fancy the Aussies to be better than one try’s difference should consider a tasty 10/3 on the 8-14 margin.

BETTING TIP: Australia win by margin of 1-7 points @ 16/5 with Paddy Power.

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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