Argentina vs Samoa Prediction and Betting Tips
🏈 Rugby World Cup 2023 Match Preview
⏰ 22 September 2023 - 19:45 GMT +1
⏰ 23 September 2023 - 01:45 AEST
🏟 Stadium - Stade Geoffroy-Guichard (Saint-Étienne)
The Pumas' final pool match against the Brave Blossoms next month was always going to decide second spot in Pool D, but a lacklustre showing against England followed by Samoa's bonus point win over Chile means Argentina can't afford to take any game lightly. If the Pacific Islanders catch the Pumas on an off day, they could definitely cause an upset that would shake up the quarterfinals and even clinch direct qualification for the 2027 Rugby World Cup down under.
Argentina had an extra man against England but couldn't capitalise, botching their lineouts and conceding 13 penalties to let Ford kick all of the Red Rose's points. Coach Cheika said everything went wrong and praised England for preventing Argentina from playing their natural game with constant stoppages.
They probably won't face such canny opposition this time, and while the Pumas did follow up a close loss to Wales with an even worse performance in Edinburgh last year, it's rare to see them underperform in back-to-back games. You have to go back to 2005 and their last meeting with Samoa in Buenos Aires for Argentina's last defeat to a Tier 2 side. Since then they've hovered around the bottom half of the world top 10 and come into this clash ranked 10th.
But 11th placed Samoa, who started this World Cup as the 16th best team, are breathing down Argentina's neck after wins over Pacific rivals Tonga and Fiji plus Japan and Georgia. Despite trailing for much of the first half, they still covered the handicap with a 43-12 demolition of Chile.
Coach Mapusua says Samoa has "arrived at the party" after missing week one with a bye. Victory here would not only boost their knockout hopes but book a 2027 spot with two games to spare, ending a nine-year wait for a Tier 1 scalp. Mapusua believes that if the Manu Samoa "stick to our style of play" they can pull off the upset, and Argentina will be very wary of controlling the game flow.
The Pumas have recalled Moroni, their only ever-present this year, for his third 2023 start. Props Bello and Petti replace Gómez Kodela and Alemanno. Samoa have also made three changes, bringing in French-based pros Alo-Emile, Alainu'u'ese and Lam for Lam, Alaalatoa and Toala.
📋 Players to watch:
- Winger Carreras scored for Argentina in their last two win
- Centre Paia'aua has crossed in three straight for Samoa.
⚡ Match Facts:
- This is the third meeting between Argentina and Samoa in Rugby World Cup history. The Pumas won both previous encounters in 2003 and 2015.
- Argentina are seeking their first win of the 2023 tournament after losing to England in round one. Samoa opened with a bonus point victory over Chile.
- The Pumas have made three changes to their starting lineup. Moroni, Bello and Petti come into the pack.
- Samoa have also shuffled their team with three new faces - Alo-Emile, Alainu'u'ese and Lam.
- Argentina winger Carreras has scored tries in his last two Test appearances.
- Samoa centre Paia'aua has crossed for five tries in his last three internationals.
- Two thirds of all tries scored by these teams so far in 2023 have come in the second half.
- The winner of this match will take a big step towards quarterfinal qualification and direct entry to the 2027 World Cup.
- Samoa are seeking their first win over a Tier 1 nation since 2014.
- Argentina will want to bounce back after an error-riddled loss to England.
💡 Match Prediction:
Based on past head-to-head records, Argentina should start as favorites having won both previous World Cup meetings against Samoa in 2003 and 2015. However, the Pumas looked out of sorts in their opening loss to England, failing to capitalize on an extra man advantage and making numerous errors.
Samoa on the other hand scored a confidence-boosting bonus point win over Chile and seem to be riding a wave of momentum under coach Mapusua. Their injection of European club players like Alo-Emile and Alainu'u'ese adds power and dynamism.
Much could depend on the battle of the playmakers - Argentina's Sanchez vs Samoa's Taefu. Both are capable of moments of magic but also lapses in concentration. Discipline and set piece execution will be crucial.
The Pumas will need to start fast and not let Samoa build an early lead like Chile did. But the Pacific Islanders have scored over 60% of their 2023 tries after halftime. Their finishing could prove decisive.
Given their need for redemption, I expect Argentina will start favorites by around 7 points but Samoa's continuity and physicality can trouble Los Pumas. The islanders seem ready to end their long wait for a Tier 1 scalp.
Samoa to win by 3-5 points.
Match Winner: Samoa
Winning Margin: Samoa by 1-12 points
First Try Scorer: Carreras or Paia'aua
Total Match Points: Over 45
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