Wales host Australia in the end of year rugby internationals in Cardiff on Saturday and the home side are bidding to snap a thirteen match losing streak at the hands of the Wallabies.
Wales v Australia, Saturday 10th November, Cardiff, KO 19:20 (South African time)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zelaand)
Assistant refs: Romain Poite (France), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Weather Forecast – Cardiff (only applicable if roof is open)
Wales took on Scotland in Cardiff last week and the Welsh came through with a 21-10 victory. That game fell outside of the international window but it was probably a more than useful run out for a side who don’t always start the November program well.
The more serious business starts here as Wales go about the task of beating the Wallabies for the first time since November 2008. Going back 12 months this fixture was priced up near enough as a “choice” game but Australia ran out 29-21 winners, scoring 4 tries to 2.
This time around Wales are in better form having won 7 of 9 test matches in 2018. In the Six Nations early in the year they won all 3 home games but suffered defeats away to England and Ireland. In June they were minus a number of their regulars but they edged out an experimental Springboks side (22-20) in a one off contest staged in Washington DC and they followed up with 2 wins over Los Pumas in Argentina, 23-10 in the first test and 30-12 in the second.
After this Wales will host Tonga and the Springboks
The Wallabies were not in action last week but they did play the third of this year’s Bledisloe Cup matches against the All Blacks in Japan on 27th October, a game they lost (37-20) by a margin which was in line with the main pre-match handicap.
The Wallabies finished the Rugby Championship in third spot with a record of 2 wins and 4 defeats. They were hard to catch right, a point best illustrated by their results against Argentina which comprised of a 23-19 home defeat and a 45-34 victory in Salta. The win in Salta was earned after a memorable second half comeback which helped Australia avoid the wooden spoon whilst their other victory came at home to the Boks. Their overall record in 2018 comprises of just 3 wins alongside 7 defeats.
After this the Wallabies visit Italy and then England.
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Liam Williams
Australia: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Ned Hanigan, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt To’omua, 23 Jack Maddocks
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2017 INT Cardiff Wales 21-29 Australia (Tries 2-4)
2016 INT Cardiff Wales 8-32 Australia (Tries 1-5)
2015 RWC Twickenham Wales 6-15 Australia (Tries 0-0)
2014 INT Cardiff Wales 28-33 Australia (Tries 4-3)
2013 INT Cardiff Wales 26-30 Australia (Tries 2-3)
2012 INT Cardiff Wales 12-14 Australia (Tries 0-1)
Wales -2.5 points 0.93 Sunbet
Australia +3.5 points 9/10 widely available
Note, odds quoted are an average of what was available at the time of last update but are subject to change.
Wales have found themselves coming up just short on more than once occasion during this long losing sequence against the Wallabies and I see it as touch and go as to who will come out on top.
The Wallabies will need every ounce of the spirit they showed in coming back from what looked like a hopeless position to beat Argentina in the final round of the Rugby Championship but they failed to keep the All Blacks in any sort of range a fortnight ago and there have been many more lows than highs in their calendar year.
If Wales are to break this hoodoo I see it being narrow and slight preference is for the home side to win by under 12.5 points.
Chris’s Bet: 3.5 units (1 to 10 scale) Wales win by under 12.5 points, 1.75/1 Sportingbet
The Handicap, Rugby Betting Show
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