All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen, perhaps engaging in a bit of coach-speak ahead of the rematch betwixt his side and the Irish conquered that ambushed the Kiwis in an international played in Chicago, winning 40 – 29, after having managed nothing better than a draw in the history of play between the two teams, has declared the All Blacks as underdogs for the game at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Whether seeking to motivate his players or to lull the competition into a false sense of security, Hansen would find himself a punter favourite were he a bookie offering wagers on the game.
He may have a point, considering that after winning on neutral ground, the highly territorial Irish will defend their home ground with a tenacity that the British, after trying to control the island for 800 years, decided was more trouble than it was worth.
The Aussie bookmakers do not share Hansen’s pessimism. Sportsbet has New Zealand price at $1.10, making that almost a losing proposition after commissions are taken into consideration, with the Leprechauns priced at $7.
Of course, the Aussie bookmakers were wrong about the Chicago tilt, and these are the exact same bookies who predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide, so they are fallible, at certain times, at least.