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Bledisloe Cup clash sees Australia face off against New Zealand

Two teams, favourites for the rugby union World Cup in a year’s time, take each other on in the third test match of the Bledisloe Cup in Brisbane and, even though New Zealand have won the silverware, Australia are keen to upset the odds.

With the match in August finishing in a 12-12 draw, the following encounter finished 51-20 as the All Blacks claimed the series.

The current world champions are overwhelmingly odds-on with Coral at 3/10 for the win, while the Wallabies are priced at 13/5. There is, however, extra motivation for Australia, with Adam Ashley-Cooper set to gain his 100th cap, and 11/4 to score anytime.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen commented in the lead-up to the match, disregarding the clash what many have been calling a ‘dead rubber’. “Anyone who has played sport will know there’s no such thing as a dead rubber,” he said. “Your pride doesn’t allow that for a start. You’re playing for your country.

“When a team is under siege as they are at the moment then one of two things can happen. Either they unite and come out and play really well or they crumble to the pressure of it. I don’t see them crumbling. They’re too good of a team.”

For New Zealand, Brodie Retallick could return to the starting lineup, having been a huge miss for the match against South Africa, and is 9/1 to cross the whitewash in the anytime market.

Australian coach Ewen McKenzie, may add vital experience to the bench in Quade Cooper, and is confident his players will stand up and be counted. “We can definitely improve on (the loss to New Zealand at) Eden Park. With the turnover situation, we gifted them a bunch of tries there. We had a couple of tries under the yellow card, so we can definitely do better than that no question.

“If we can get it right this weekend, we have an undefeated domestic season. I look at the game and say there’s an opportunity to square the series, too,” continued McKenzie. Maybe the trophy is not there, but when there are things on offer, it’s a question of who stands up.”