James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

TAB picks All Blacks to win, even without Carter

Dan Carter has taken to Twitter to express frustration at his latest injury. Picture / Mark Mitchell
Dan Carter has taken to Twitter to express frustration at his latest injury. Picture / Mark Mitchell

The All Blacks head to Australia tomorrow as heavy favourites with the TAB for a weekend win over the Wallabies despite losing star playmaker Dan Carter.

But at least one punter isn't convinced - and has wagered $10,000 on the Australians beating the All Blacks in Sydney on Saturday for the first time since 2008.

Carter will almost certainly be replaced by the Chiefs' Aaron Cruden with Beauden Barrett a likely back-up off the bench in the Rugby Championship opener that doubles as the first of three Bledisloe Cup fixtures.

He took to Twitter yesterday to reveal his frustration at being injured and missing yet another international match, this time with a strained calf.

"I don't seem to have much luck with injuries when I'm in Wellington #rehabtime," he tweeted.

But TAB spokesman John Mitchell said despite Carter's exclusion, the All Blacks were still firm favourites for the win at ANZ Stadium paying $1.40.

He said news of Carter's non-start saw a bold punter immediately place $10,000 on the Wallabies, meaning an Australian win would result in a $28,000 payout.

The All Blacks have won the Bledisloe Cup every year since 2003 and have won three of their last four matches in Sydney. But their wins there have been tense affairs.

Australian media say local rugby officials are relying on the excitement surrounding new coach Ewen McKenzie to help boost sluggish ticket sales - particularly after the Wallabies limped to a 2-1 series loss against the British and Irish Lions.

Big bets

* The All Blacks are paying $1.40 for the win at the TAB.
* Australia are paying $2.80.
* One punter has bet $10,000 at $2.80 on Australia to win.

- NZ Herald

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