Category Archives: Australia Rugby Betting

Wales v Australia Rugby Betting

Wales v Australia Rugby Betting Preview, Dec 1st 230pm. Australia -2 Bluesquare 10/11, Wales +4 bwin

Dec 1st 230pm, BBC

**Ian Evans in the Welsh second row has been pulled this evening (Friday) from the the Welsh squad. Lou Reed of Cardif replaces him. GOod luck to Lou Reed, but Wales are now down to the bare bones in cover – Ryan Jones looks to be realistically covering the backrow and second row now. Wales are in trouble if any injuries occur, and in in the second half. Preview remains unchanged below**

This has been a truly nightmarish Autumn series for Wales so far. We expected Argentina to do a number on them but it’s safe to say almost everyone was surprised when Samoa beat them two weeks ago. That was the one they really needed to win to stay in the second tier of the world cup group seedings, and a loss to Australia will leave them in tenth, and guaranteed to be in a tough group for the 2015 world cup. So with that in mind, you’d say ‘motivation is with Wales, they have to get it together this week, everything is on the line’. You’d be right to assume that, but if you take your mind beyond reasonable assumption and search for hard evidence, you’ll have a tough time coming up with anything concrete. Plus, Australia have a big motivational boost of their own in addition to finishing second in the world rankings; It’s Nathan Sharpe’s last game in a Wallaby shirt and a resurgent Australia will surely give everything so he can finish on a high.

As George Bush once famously tried to say, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. We were fooled that Wales could turn it on against Samoa, and we’re wary of being fooled again here based on blind optimism and belief that Wales will get it together finally. They’re down to their fourth or fifth choice tighthead (19 year old on the bench); Williams on the left wing is a full back and was exposed last week at times; Roberts is unlikely to last the first half with the injuries he’s carrying; Priestland is at ten by default; Cuthbert has huge defensive issues; according to Gatland Phillips isn’t fit from being in France; Shingler is inexperienced in the backrow; and Ian Evans is fighting injury in the second row. To top that all off, there’s very little impact on the bench for Wales – and i’d imagine if Biggar was actually fit after the Samoa incident, he would be starting here and not filling out the bench. If Wales win this it will be a big surprise to us, considering the injuries, the losing run, and the lack of confidence that has to be everywhere in the squad. Even the recent wet weather is seemingly against Wales this week – it has been dry throughout and will probably be right up to kickoff when the roof will be closed anyway. A bit of wet weather would have suited Wales during the week to muddy up the Cardiff pitch, for an Australian side notoriously poor in wet conditions. When it rains it pours (or doesn’t, in this case).

Australia are not without their own injury problems, but they welcome back the world class Pocock from injury. He takes the place of Hooper, who many will see as being a little hard done by to not be starting the game after a series of excellent international performances. Kane Douglas comes in for Timani and won’t weaken the side, especially in the loose. And Polota Nau returns after supposed injury against Italy – we don’t buy that though and he was almost definitely rested with this game in mind. This game is one of the rare occasions where you can look at an Australian scrum and expect it to have the better of it’s opposition. This is something Australia rarely have, so you don’t often realise how lethal they are off clean first phase ball. The backs ripped Wales apart on the rare occasions they had it during the summer, and they used it well whenever they had it in the Rugby Championship. Some of the impact from the bench for Australia also far exceeds what Wales have to offer (Stephen Moore, James Slipper, Michael Hooper, Mike Harris, Digby Ioane) and that quality on the bench is likely to be the winning and losing of this game.

Both of these sides know each other so well after the June series, with Australia winning all three games by 7, 2 and 1 points. The difference this weekend is that Wales have lost so many to injury, and are carrying a number of injuries in the starting 15. Familiarity will serve Australia better than Wales here, as Australia have a much more settled look about them and are in a better position to expose the Welsh. Australia were hammered by France in the muck initially but they battled to a win against England, and that England side is stronger than this Welsh one. You have to go back to 2008 to find a game where Australia didn’t beat a 2 point handicap away from home against Wales, And 2005 before that three point loss.

Australian coach Robbie Deans was quoted during the week as saying Australia were running on empty for this game, but that should be taken with a pinch of salt. They clearly saved Polota Nau for this game, and they most definitely took their foot off the gas against Italy to conserve energy. They come into this relatively fresh compared to Wales, and it’s hard to see them not coming away with a comfortable enough win here.

Wales v Australia rugby betting

We’ve already taken the -2 on Australia still available in Bluesquare. If you don’t have a bluesquare account you can get Australia -2.5 on the no draw handicap for 5/6 in Ladbrokes.

Since the turn of the millenium, these teams have played each other fifteen times, with Australia winning twelve times, losing twice, and drawing once. Of those twelve wins, NINE of them have been by 1-12 points, and every away win bar one has been by 1-12 points. So there’s strong evidence for an Australian win by 1-12 points, with the biggest price a miserable 13/8 in Ladbrokes ( 6/4 everywhere else). For us, that price is too small, and thinking back to Argentina’s 14 point win here, who is to say Wales won’t completely implode again? We wouldn’t tell someone not to back the 1-12, especially if you want to lower your stake and increase your returns. But you’re also increasing risk, as there’s a decent enough chance Australia could do some serious damage here where Argentina’s backs couldn’t, but working out whether they’ll want to mentally is impossible. The better, more conservative bet at 10/11 is the -2/3, as Australia have far more bankable firepower and will want to finish the season on a high.

In short, there’s just no viable reason that we can see for backing Wales here even with a three point start. With a stronger side that took a relative break last week in Italy, Pocock returning, and Nathan Sharpe’s retirement looming large, Australia will want to go out with a bang and drive the nail home this weekend. A 2/3 point handicap should be comfortably beaten against a Welsh side with nothing going for it.

Possible Tryscorer punts
Drew Mitchell is up against Alex Cuthbert on the wing and is biggest 12/5 anytime try in paddypower and 11/1 for first try. Cuthbert has looked awful defensively in the past three tests- falling off tackles everywhere, and he seems to always need help to bring someone down. No commentators have mentioned it, but watch him this weekend an you’ll see what we mean. Either the anytime or first try appeals here for Mitchell on the left wing.

**If you’re with Paddypower, they have a money back special this weekend on all losing tryscorer (first, last, anytime) bets if a number 14 scores the first try. With Cuthbert and Cummins in both number 14 jerseys, this is a realistic piece of insurance value if you’re backing any of the above anytime tryscorers.**

Nick Cummins is looking for three in a row this weekend and is also 12/5 anytime try. His direct running at out of position Williams on the other wing could cause problems.

And lastly, Nathan Sharpe
is 66/1 first try in Ladbrokes, and 14/1 anytime try in there too. Either one of these is worth a fiver for value, as Sharpe has form and knows where the tryline is. Sharpe will most definitely have his eye on a try with this being his last ever Australian cap, and it would be such a fitting occurrence for such a great servant to the game; he was probing the English line 2 weeks ago quite a bit too. I just have a strong feeling he’ll rumble over at some point, and his team-mates will be looking to play him in whenever they can surely – maybe go with the anytime 14/1 and don’t be greedy!

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Ian Evans, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Scott Williams.

Australia: 15 Berrick Barnes, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Digby Ioane.

Don’t forget the Skybet free no deposit tenner bet and free fiver bet every week offer ends Dec 7th
you can find more details by clicking here.

England v Australia Rugby Betting

England v Australia Rugby Betting Preview, Sat Nov 17th 230pm. England -6 (disappearing) Bluesquare, Australia +8 Boylesports (10/11)


Sky Sports 1

Exaggeration is the watch-word this weekend. England’s result v Fiji, and Australia’s result v France. England beat a team last week that weren’t interested in playing (i’m sorry, but it’s true – watch Monye’s try before just half time for all the insight needed into just how much Fiji bothered in the entire 80 minutes) and Australia were always going to be on the end of a vengeful French onslaught after hammering them the last time they visited France. You sensed the Australians knew they were in for it and threw in the towel as soon as that first try by Picamoles went in.

To look further at England’s win last week, it has to be acknowledged that they can only play what is put in front of them, and they put Fiji away with very little effort. They had clean lineout all game, and clean scrum (and they won’t have either against Australia), and they racked up the tries. However, to nitpick slightly, they butchered alot of try chances against a wide defence that simply wasn’t there. They were in situations at times where it looked impossible NOT to score, and yet they botched a number of them. England seemed intent on keeping it tight in the quest for tries but had the ball gone wide when it should have they would have won by 80. It begs the question – are they not comfortable going wide? England seemed quite averse to taking the ball up to the line and drawing the defender for most of the game, and they won’t score tries against better defences by constantly giving off passes two metres before the gainline. Ashton comes in this week but he won’t see much ball from Tuilagi and Barritt. Sharples moves to the left wing, and Goode remains at full back and both are very inexperienced at test level. Goode is a quality player but he hasn’t been tested yet and he may have a tough afternoon on Saturday.

The point here is that England will have learned absolutely nothing from last week, other than the fact they’re lacking in execution. They found out nothing about their scrum and lineout, and they learned nothing about their backplay. Watching the BBC highlights (as well as having watched the match live), it was noticable listening to Brian Moore that he was as questionable as we still are about Fiji’s commitment to last week’s fixture. So overall, forget last week’s Fijian demolition if you’re trying to assess England’s chances of beating the handicap here on Saturday.

In the summer, England were blown away in the two opening tests by a South African side that ultimately finished third in the Rugby Championship. They did well to get a draw in a dour encounter in the third test but we’re searching for recent inspiration as to whether England should realistically be 8 point favourites against Australia. Yes France beat them by 27 points, and we’re not saying forget that, but for them to play two miserable games in a row, and for there to be another abject capitulation -this time to their great rivals England? We’re finding it hard to see it happening.

Australia were comprehensively beaten last week by determined French defence which was unusually combined with buckets of French flair. So what has changed this week? Not much for Australia, other than they’ll have far more motivation than they did against France. Australia are facing three losses in a row against one of their great rivals, and that hasn’t happened since the World cup winning English side of 2003. The handicap has been steadily moving out for England indicating there’s alot of money coming for them, but is the negative sentiment on Australia justified?

Alot of people seem to be forgetting that Australia just drew with the world champions 18 all a month ago in a game they could have won. They won their collisions in the first half, had parity in the set piece throughout the game, and kept an awesome All Black attack quiet. There has been a fair bit of talk on the England scrum holding the advantage here, but i’m not sure that’s warranted considering this Wallaby side managed the All Black result and beat an Argentina side away from home who were desperate for a win. Remembering last week’s game v Wales, are England currently a better side than Argentina? I’m not so sure about that.

It gets more interesting when you look at the Australian lineups in recent games. Firstly, the only real missing man from recent games is Pat McCabe, and his omission is a loss for the Australian defence. On the other hand, it may make them play a more attacking game with Tapuai replacing him. Many commentators are pointing to current Australian injuries as a reason to back England but they’ve been in pretty much the same state of injury affairs in the two games mentioned above; missing Pocock and O’Connor for a long time now. Genia missed both those games v Argentina and New Zealand, and has been out since the win v South Africa at home. And remember, Australia got the winning score in that game right after he went off injured, when his labouring over the breakdown wasn’t there to slow them down. I’m not saying Phipps at nine is a better player- but he isn’t the worst- he also played in both of the recent excellent Australian performances.

Australia also have some serious leadership in their side. Nathan Sharpe is still going strong and the inspirational Berrick Barnes comes in at full back. Where are England’s leaders this weekend? There was very little leadership shown in South Africa, and as above, forget the Fiji game. Compare Saturday’s England side with the England side that ran out 35-18 winners in 2010 and you’ll see what i’m getting at.

That day in 2010 (much referenced in the build up to this game), there was plently of leadership on show – players like Moody, Nick Easter (who should be starting on Saturday as one of the top form players in England), Hartley, Tindall, and even Ben Foden. When you compare that to the current set up, you may start to worry for England this week.

Robshaw has been touted as a potential Lions captain but he’s nowhere near that level (not this season anyway). If things get tough on Saturday who’s going to rouse this English side and get them moving? They look a bit lightweight if we’re honest and there’s a hell of alot of international inexperience in this Enlglish side. They won’t boss this Australian pack, and I don’t see the superiority in the backs. The one area England have more obvious cutting edge is in the half backs (on recent form). But if Beale gets any space and decent ground underfoot, (like an average South African backline had in the summer) things could turn sour for England because there’s space there.

The weather this weekend is set to be ok up until kick off when there’s a decent bit of rain forecast. Ordinarily this wouldn’t favour Australia but they have three accomplished and experienced kickers to get them out of trouble in the backline in Beale, Ashley-Cooper, and Barnes. They bring a wealth of international cutting edge to the table (unless you’re playing Knifey-spooney), and England don’t have really have an equivalent level of leadership in the side. Even against Fiji you could see Tuilagi running down blind alleys without passing or kicking and almost getting turned over. It’s little things like this and the lack of English leadership that has us pitching our punting-tent in the Australian camp this week. There’s so much un-merited optimism about for England and the pressure may get to them. They haven’t really done much since the six nations whereas Australia have fought massive battles all over the place. If things start to even slightly go against them on Saturday (and Australia will be well up for this), who’s going to pull them out of a hole?

Main bet – This England side has a future ahead of it but it’s still quite green in places.We’re backing Australia to bounce back and taking the +8 available in Skybet, medium to full stakes The handicap has moved out from -5 early in the week to -8 in places now (-6 is very scarce currently) and you might even get -9 if you wait around for the English punt to really kick in on Friday night.

Australia rarely play two bad games in a row and in all honestly I can see them even getting a win on Saturday. If it goes out to 4/1 (3/1 currently is the biggest available) we’ll be taking some of that too for value. All in all Australia are a match for this English side, and a start of eight points against an unproven England;with Australia being written off by the media; and with Australia having all the motivation; the +8 is far too tempting.

Tryscorer punt (small stakes) – The evergreen Wallaby leader Nathan Sharpe is 80/1 in Ladbrokes for first tryscorer (50/1 and less elsewhere) to get the first try and that’s far far too big for a man that’s been scoring tries recently. On a dirty Saturday afternoon he’ll be just the man to break through an unproven English line close in. Well worth a fiver anyway.

Don’t forget the Skybet free bet every week offer ends this Friday 16th at midnight – you can find more details here.

Rugby Championship 2012 Betting Preview- Argentina and Australia

***Rugby Championship Odds update- Australia now out to a biggest 6/1 with Sportingbet, from where they were at 7/2. This is quite a big leap, and while we don’t fancy Australia for the win, 6/1 has a sniff of value about it. If they beat New Zealand in the first game this Saturday (importantly, Australia are at home), then that price will probably half to 3/1. Also, if after reading the below you fancy a small punt on Argentina, you can now get them at 125/1 in paddypower. As we say below; favourable fixtures for Argentina mean they shouldn’t be that big…***Wednesday Aug 15th

The Rugby Championship 2012 (formerly tri-nations – now Four Nations) will be the seventeenth annual rugby union series between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. This tournament will be unique as the first major tournament that Argentina is involved aside from the World cup. In an interesting corporate twist, the rugby championship will be named differently in each country;

  • In South Africa it will be referred to as The Castle Rugby Championship
  • In New Zealand, The Investec Rugby Championship
  • In Australia they’ll call it the Castrol Edge Rugby Championship
  • And in Argentina they’ll call it The Personal Rugby Championship

The 2012 Rugby Championship will kick off on 18 August and will finish on 6 October. Each team will play the other twice on a home and away basis.

Argentina, rugby championship- current world rank – 8

Since going out 33-10 to eventual champions New Zealand in the World cup Quarter final last year, Argentina have played three tests in June 2012. The squad for these three tests was devoid of most of their French based TOP 14 players, and gave an opportunity for many home-based players to put their hands up for selection for the forthcoming rugby championship.

Their first game against Italy saw them comprehensively beat a virtually full strength Italian team 37-22. Only Parisse was missing from the Italian side, and while he is no doubt integral to Italian efforts, his absence wasn’t the reason for this beating. The Argentinians were too much for the Italians – faster, stronger and hungrier. The only thing they were missing was a decent scrum, which the source of most of the Italian points. Also it is important to remember that the only real internationals of experience present were Roncero and Contepomi.

The second games saw them beat world cup finalists France at the death with a score against the run of play, finishing 23-20 with a converted try, (and killing our France -3 on the handicap!). Up to that point they were doing well to stay in touch with a star studded French side chasing ranking points, and in the end they were good value for their win. Remember a good chunk of these lads play their rugby in Argentina, far from the spotlight of European and Super 15 rugby.

In the third game they were comprehensively beaten 49-10 by France, after making 8 changes to give everyone in the squad a run. France were out for revenge here, and after shaking off their international rustiness from the previous week, it was a case of men against fatigued boys. Freddy Michalak was back pulling the strings, with the likes of Mermoz, Huget, and Picamoles tearing a tired inexperienced Argentinian squad asunder.

Argentina began these June internationals by resting over 20 players from the Top 14 and the Aviva premiership in anticipation of the rugby championship. They obviously set out with the goal of blooding what would make up the remainder of the International squad to play the rugby championship, and with two strong performances they must be happy with the wins achieved.

Key Points

There are a couple of important points to consider when sizing up Argentina’s prospects for the rugby championship.

  1. The majority of their internationals to come back will have had almost three months rest for the beginning of this tournament. The likes of Horacio Agulla, Bustos Moyano, Albacete, Lobbe, Ayerza, Fernandez, Creevy, Bosch etc. will all come into this tournament completely refreshed. Contrast that with the other three rugby teams and there’s one glaring fact that stands out – the Super 15 season finishes on August 4th, 2 weeks before the Rugby Championship starts. Almost every player for all three Southern Hemisphere teams (except a few injury returnees) will be at the end of a bruising season, with three testing internationals in June. You could look at this and say that they will be match fit, or you could look at it and say there will be more injuries, quite possibly to key players. And I’m sure Argentina will organise some game time to get the boys up to speed locally before coming out. The overall fatigue profile of all four teams is a big consideration going into this rugby championship.
  2. World cup winning coach Graham Henry has been drafted in as adviser to the Argentinian management in the lead up to the rugby championship. He will be a huge source of valid information, preparation ideals, and ways to approach home and away games. He was likely behind the decision to play are largely inexperienced team in the June tests.
  3. On the showing of the June Internationals, there’s a decent chance they can put away both South Africa and Australia at home, and quite possibly one of them away. South African fitness was awful in all three tests against England in the second half of all three June games. And there’s questions about whether the off-form Morne Steyn will be removed (he probably should be, but won’t be). Argentina play South Africa away first, and with a win first up, who knows how things can go for them. They can also realistically test an Australian side that scraped home in two of three games against a Welsh team that was nothing special.

Early Picks

For the moment there are only tournament win markets available, but I’ll update as soon as anything else starts to appear.

For now, Argentina to win the tournament is 100/1 in betfred and skybet. It is as low as 50/1 elsewhere. This is simply FAR too big for a few reasons. Argentina can beat South Africa and Australia on their day, even slightly off their day. Argentina also held New Zealand to a 6 point victory a couple of years back in Argentina. And crucially, South Africa and Australia could always beat New Zealand – they don’t have the same fear as Northern Hemisphere teams do. With the amount of intangibles, possible injuries, and rest Argentina have, this 100/1 is far too big and surely can’t last that long? It’s well worth an interest.

Go to Skybet for a free £10 bet

Go to Betfred free for a £50 bet

**Updates on value markets will appear at the top of this post as they appear in the run up to the rugby championship**

Australia – Pre-rugby championship- current world rank – 2

In 2011 Australia ended a ten year winless tournament run by winning the last ever tri-nations championship; their first win since 2001. This was off the back of the Reds winning their first ever Super XV championship. This June, they began their four match test series with a shock loss to a touring Scotland side, and followed that with three wins against Six Nations Grand Slam Champions Wales.

The first 9-6 loss to Scotland was Scotland’s first win in the Southern Hemisphere for 30 years. Like the Irish win at the World Cup, the forecast awful weather before the game had many of us thinking this could be Scotland’s day, and so it proved. Despite not getting anything from the referee in the scrum until the final winning penalty, Scotland owned the scrum all game and they were slightly hard done by over the entire 80 minutes. Scotland perhaps also should have win by a little more, with Laidlaw missing kicks, and butchering a try-scoring chance with a simple knock-on when Scotland looked nailed on for a try. Australia lacked incisiveness despite dominating for large periods, and Scotland tackled their hearts out.

But there were mitigating factors for Australia in this loss that should reduce its importance in assessing true Australian form. They had rested a number of players for this game, and they were off the back of a round of Super-Rugby just 2 days previously. This was an epic scheduling failure by the Australian Rugby Union, and one solely motivated by money. They almost set their side up for a completely torrid June series against Wales, but Australia rallied and put the Scottish loss behind them, following it with three wins against the Welsh.

Australia won the first test 27-19. They came out of the traps early and Wales were never able to handle the intensity here. Both sides squandered chances, and Australian intensity let up in the second half and Wales came back into the game. Australia were impressive in this game in their precision (look away try-butcher Rob Horne!), but let Wales back in before putting the game to bed with a late try. Worryingly, despite looking like they had full control of the result, there were a number of occasions when Wales could have undeservedly nicked the lead and sneaked the win.

In the second and third test Australia won narrowly by two and one points respectively. Both games were sealed by penalties at the death, and realistically Australia could have lost either game. In both games they tended to gift Wales turnover ball when they were on the attack inside the Welsh 22, and overall they lacked the precision of the first test. Indeed Wales looked on for a victory in the final game with momentum firmly theirs, going ahead in the 60th minute only for Australia to hit back almost immediately with a sucker-punch try (put your hand up Rob Horne!), to give us a grand finale. In both games it was tough to decide whether Australia were just doing enough, or whether they barely had enough. That said Australia still beat the Six Nations champions with players missing and out of position, so there’s a doggedness and resilience there without a doubt. And they’ll need that against New Zealand first up.

Key Points

  1. Australia came into these tests with quite a few high profile injuries in Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale and James O’Connor, not to mention James Horwill and Rocky Elsom. Horwill is out for the season, and Elsom probably won’t be back, and has been injured repeatedly and off form anyway. Currently O’Connor looks set to miss the first game of the rugby championship, and Beale is a slight doubt. He made a number of errors in his comeback in the final Welsh test, and looked to be really struggling.
  2. If Wales can get Beale and Cooper back and firing on all cylinders, with a fully fit team, they can beat anyone in the rugby championship. You’d imagine Deans will start with Cooper, and he has looked good since coming back from injury. Barnes will feel hard done by if he is left out of the ten spot, after being the main force behind the three test wins against Wales.
  3. Australian attacks frequently broke down against Wales and they’ll have to get that right for the upcoming championship. They frequently found themselves going from the Welsh line to their own line in under ten seconds. They’ll be punished far more severely by the likes of New Zealand. Their scrum also needs work.
  4. Australian depth of quality is probably the lowest of the Four Nations going into this tournament, and if injury were to befall the likes of Pocock or Genia, they’ll have real issues for the upcoming games.

Early Picks

As mentioned, Australia can compete with any team with a fully fit squad. But questions remain whether they will have one. The early price of 7/2 in stanjames and skybet does look quite big in comparison to New Zealand. Australia have New Zealand first game up in Sydney, and if they win that game the price won’t stay at 7/2. If you were one of many who saw this Welsh side as the best in the Northern Hemisphere, then you’d be justified in taking some of this price early. Another thing to remember is the fact that before they won the rugby championship last year, they also lost a game to Samoa with a wakened team. Perhaps the Scotland loss was just what they needed then!

Go to stanjames for a free £10 bet

For now (for us) a watching brief on the price is probably best for Australia as they are the most vulnerable to injuries out of the big three. Watch the top of this page for updates on the rugby championship. We’ll update as important injuries are confirmed cleared up or not at the top of this page.

**Updates on value markets will appear at the top of this post as they appear in the run up to the rugby championship**

Rugby Championship Betting preview New Zealand and Australia

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Australia v Wales Rugby Betting Preview, Tips & Odds 6am GMT Jun 23rd

Australia v Wales Rugby Betting Preview

Media Rugby Betting Coverage

Sky Sports 1

Best Betting/Team Win Handicap
Australia 8/13 888sport -3 10/11 boylesports
Wales 5/3 sportingbet +4 evs bet365

 

Form Guide

Unfortunately for fans in Europe and South Africa, this rugby match has been put back four and a half hours to 6am GMT, leaving us no doubt bleary eyed this Saturday morning. I had been quite enjoying the line-up for the past two weeks of a game at 830, 11 and 4, but alas it’s not to be this weekend. The changed time won’t mean any extra heat, with temperatures moderate and the sun shining.

Australia are two from two this series, with the finale this weekend, and I’m finding this one to be the toughest of the games to call. On one hand you can say that Australia were lucky last week with a last gasp penalty and on the other you could say Wales were very lucky to be winning after a scramble of a try from their own half after an Australian fumble. Australia were very much in the ascendancy at that point. Don’t forget Pocock was in for a try at the death as well, but was frustratingly called back by the ref for a much more difficult penalty instead of letting the advantage play (as alluded to in our rugby betting wrap for last weekend’s games).

Wales have looked tired from the start of this series, and yes, the shackles will be off and they can play freely this Saturday. But the same can be said for Australia with the series win in the bag. I’m expecting a decent few tries on a sunny day of rugby, with plenty of try scorers in both teams, and an eventual tight win for Australia.

Teams

The starting Wales 15 is unchanged from last week, with the only overall change being Hibbard out of the match day 22, and Owens replacing him. Still the same concerns over injuries being carried then (Warburton, Davies, North) and Priestland still starts despite doing nothing of note since last year really.

Australia put Ashley Cooper on the wing to make way for the return of Kurtley Beale at full back. Beale coming in means a try scoring punt for me. I have a theory that players coming back from off-field controversy often play better than they normally  would, and with Beale having just been charged with assault, I’ll be wagering on him making a Welsh try line assault too! Possibly even a Man of the match gong if he lasts the 80 also.

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani; 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Nic White, 22 Anthony Fainga’a.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Luke Charteris, 19 Justin Tipuric, 20 Rhys Webb, 21 James Hook, 22 Scott Williams.

Rugby Betting Tips

Stats betting is very attractive for this week’s game, and especially when Paddypower have a money back special of a refund on all tryscorer bets if Wales win the game. They are slightly shorter than williamhill on some prices for tryscorer bets, but if you fancy the extra chance of a refund, then paddypower are the way to go. I’ll give comparisons anyway.

  1. (main bet)If you’re strictly a handicap only man then the Australia -3 in boylesports looks better than the Wales +4 at evens in bet365. I get the feeling that with Beale back, there’s more danger of Australia running riot than Wales, and as i’ve been saying all along, Wales look tired and are carrying a few injuries, and lets not forget there’s a 43 year old record for this Australian team to maintain of no loss to a Welsh team at home.
  2. Kurtley Beale anytime try 23/10 paddypower, 5/2 williamhill
  3. Alex Cuthbert anytime try 21/10 paddypower, 11/4 in williamhill and skybet
  4. Digby Ioane anytime try is biggest 2/1 in paddypower. This game should be open, and he’ll be after a try, and very disappointed if he doesn’t get one for the whole series.  I’m surprised the left winger isn’t shorter priced
  5. Cuthbert to score 2 or more tries is 11/1 in paddypower, he has looked the most likely for Wales and has done a Hatrick at least once this season for Cardiff. And if you fancy a bit of a fun interest punt, a Mike Phillips Hattrick is 300/1 in williamhill. He has been quiet lately, even helping Bayonne get relegated! but he scored 2 in a few games in his career, and if this rugby match opens up, he’s the man with his hands on the ball more than anyone else. Fiver between the lads possibly?!
  6. I can’t find over/under try markets up yet, but i’ll probably be talking the overs.

If you cancy an over priced extremely speculative bet on the rugby over the weekend, williamhill have all three teams to win at  100/1 in the wiliamhill specials section for rugby union. The accumulator wouldn’t run near this price, so well worth a lash of you think two teams have a chance. Anythng can happen.

Weather

– dry and sunny in Sydney

Ref

– Craig Joubert. Had a good first game barring the odd non-calling of Pocock for ruinin Welsh ball when he had just told him not to ruin Wales ball. Odd odd odd.

Australia v Wales Rugby Betting Preview, Tips and Odds 11am GMT Jun 16th

Media Rugby Betting Coverage

Sky Sports 2

Best Betting/Team Win Handicap
Australia 4/9 bet365 -6 10/11 williamhill
Wales 57/25 betdaq +7 10/11 ladbrokes

 

Form Guide

Australian rugby bounced back last week with a morale boosting win over 6 nations champs Wales, and come into this week’s game with an unchanged team. In last week’s betting preview  we alluded to the fact that Welsh form should be taken with a pinch of salt after some iffy 6 Nations wins and a lucky Barbarian win, and so it proved; Wales were subdued, contained, and on the whole they failed to fire when it really mattered. They came back into the game to be only a point behind in the last quarter, but you never really felt like Australia were going to lose the game, sealing the rugby match with a Pat McCabe try off a beautiful line to finish the win off on an 8 point margin win.

There was little urgency from Wales until the game was 14 points ahead of them, and Australian fatigue after that Scotland game had started to set in. Cuthbert lead the charge after the Wallabies hit them hard early, but Wales were disjointed, and never really got into the game. Their scrum didn’t dominate as some people expected, and they simply didn’t take advantage of the possession as well as Australia- the stats were 50/50 in percentage terms, with evens on line breaks and turnovers. Interestingly, Australia also conceded 13 penalties to Wales’s seven. This could point to a yellow card being shown on Saturday perhaps, but the best i can find is 4/6 in paddypower- a bit short I reckon.

You can look at this upcoming game in one of two ways- either Wales are going to play better having had more time together, or, Australia are going to realise they can cut Wales open at will and that they also have had more time together. Wales have had an entire six nations campaign just three months ago too, and a lot of people forget that, so they shouldn’t have been unfamiliar with each other last week. That being the case, maybe they’re just knackered tired after a long season, and they certainly looked like that, particularly in the first 20 minutes. There’s an argument for both perspectives, and recent history suggests there might be some value in the Wales +7 as these two have played out some close games in the past few years. But for individual team-member reasons, which I’m about to go into, I have my doubts about Wales +7.

Teams

Australia have named an unchanged side, with just Kepu a slight doubt in the front row after he strained his arm last week. Unfortunately for Australia Kurtley Beale won’t make the game either.  The unchanged line-up reflects the excellent performance last week, and Australia backers will be hoping they can repeat the performance.

The Welsh team has seen the withdrawal of Faletau from the tour completely, and he’ll be a big loss. He does a lot of unseen work, and has been a regular in the Welsh side. Next on the injury list is blunt- force- trauma- attacking George North, and his fellow Scarlet Scott Williams in the centre. The soundings from the Welsh camp are that both will likely make the game, but I’d take this with a pinch of salt. Both seem to have been injured regularly all season, and have had very little rugby for most of it and that includes their club games. They’ve had very few Scarlets appearances, being saved for Wales more often than not ,and it’s something that Scarlets fans are particularly unhappy with, with many going so far as to question their injury status repeatedly, and whether it is actually for real, or just precautionary with Welsh games around the corner. You have to wonder just how fragile these lads are, and whether they’ll be up to another 60/70 minutes of hard hitting stuff from the Wallabies on Saturday.

Finally Sam Warburton looks well off the pace compared to his town high standards, and is carrying an injury all season. You can clearly see it is affecting his game. He was OK at best last week, and his passing was shocking at times.  Welsh resources are starting to look very thin.

(Welsh team not out yet)
Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Cooper Vuna, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu , 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rob Simmons , 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Alexander, Dave Dennis, 18 Michael Hooper, 19 Nic White, 20 Anthony Fainga’a, 21 Mike Harris.

Rugby Betting Tips

Same as the start of the week, i’m staying with Australia -6 in light of all of the above. The weather is dry Friday, with a small chance of showers on saturday. Either way i’m expecting a more structured game, with Wales realising they have to keep it tight from the start, and begin with a bit more fire in their bellies. It would be nice to see a Welsh win for a nice series finale next week, but with Welsh players carrying injuries, and the end of a long season taking it’s toll, it’s hard to see anything other than an Australian victory here. The question for alot of punters is, can Australia really put some big points on Wales?. You’d imagine Wales will really fight for this one knowing the series is lost if they go down, so the first half  SHOULD be close enough, with Australian power winning out in the end.  But there’s merit to that Wales +7 at ladbrokes if you think that the fact of Wales losing meaning the series is gone and lost, might bring out the energy reserves and extra motivation.

Maybe they’re lying in the long grass and this was their plan all along?! That said, when Australia attacked last week, they found plenty of holes. Can Wales shore things up is the real consideration.

  1. Australia -6 in paddypower- If these injuries hit Wales harder than they’re making out, there’s not much experience and real quality to take over in North/Wiliams and Warburton’s case.
  2. I’m going to wait for the Welsh team announcement as it’ll have a big impact on how this one goes.

Weather

– small chance of showers, dry the day before.

Ref

– Chris Pollock

Rugby Betting Wrap, International Weekend One, Top 14 Final, 10 June 2012

New Zealand v Ireland,

Australia v Wales,

South Africa v England,

Argentina v Italy,

Toulouse v Toulon

Rugby Betting Review

A decent rugby punting weekend on the International games overall, with a few very entertaining games.

New Zealand v Ireland Result 42-10

Value bets highlighted in preview

1. Sean O Brien to score a try at 12/1- this one came agonisingly close, with O Brien getting over the line only for the try to be called back by Nigel Owens as disallowed, because Heaslip apparently hadn’t separated the ball from his boot in the quick tap. A little over zealous by Nigel considering the game was well over at this point. How he could be so sure in that split second that Heaslip fouled the ball is beyond me. People pay alot of money to go and see these games, and more specifically, tries. What happened to benefit of the doubt going to the attacking team?

2. Drop goal anytime 13/8. This one didn’t materialise unfortunately as the game was well away from Ireland by the end of the first half, something I hadn’t anticipated as I thought New Zealand would be a bit rusty.

Overall the game exposed the general ineffective Irish attacking play under Kidney, and some strange selection decisions. I always wonder why Ireland don’t give themselves a better chance by playing the provincial halfbacks from the start. Here we had Murray and Sexton starting, and then had Reddan and ROG finishing the game when they were chasing the game for pride.

Surely this first game in the series was Ireland’s best chance of achieving the Holy Grail of a Kiwi victory? And yet, Kidney didn’t start with Leinster’s three time Heineken Cup winning halfbacks Reddan and Sexton (honourable mention for Isaac Boss here). He could have even started with O’Gara and Murray and it would have made more sense. Kidney has been doing this for the past two seasons- surely he has learned all he can at this point on the combo’s? Very confusing decisions from Kidney, to say the least.

I didn’t think that McFadden should have been on the wing in this game, nor Earls at inside centre –similar to the halfback situation above, surely they should have been the other way around? Sure enough Savea’s first try that opened the floodgates came directly from these two having a misunderstanding in defence. And it was all one way traffic from there on in. Ireland battled hard and didn’t stop fighting, but had no answer to the black-tide, going through the phases the little time they had the ball, but having no real incision. On first impressions the -25 available already from bet365 is a decent bet. I’d be amazed too if Savea anytime try scorer is anything over evens when the market comes out later in the week- this kid looks one for the future, and if he starts, he’s a banker to score a try i reckon.

** Betting update- New Zealand available at -23 in paddypower, New Zealand back in Christ Church- hard to ignore this one**

Australia v Wales Result 27-19

Value Bets highlighted in Preview

1. Australia 1-12 winning margin is 7/4 – this one came home nicely for us, and Australia duly delivered and reacted to their disappointing loss V Scotland with a ballsy performance that was dominant overall. This looked slightly in jeopardy during Wales’ purple patch, but Australia fought the fatigue and came through, responding throughout to Wales’s scores with scores of their own.

2. Toby Faleteau is 25/1 1st try scorer. – Faleteau was active but Wales didn’t bring out their customary fast start and Faleteau is now out of the tour completely with a broken hand unfortunately.

3. The draw at 20/1 is one to consider – this one looked on when Wales came back, and the way these two have finished so close in recent years you’d have been a brave person to back against it. My 2 euro disappeared though with Australia’s final try! Curses!

4. No try scorer is 25/1.The high Octane start from Australia blew this one out of the water really, and the tight game that would have been conducive to no try never really developed, Thankfully actually, as it was a very entertaining game.

As we had mentioned, we had an inkling that maybe Wales were being given a bit too much respect on the back of their winning streak and so it proved. There was a point when they came back into the game as the Aussies started to wilt after a heavy game v Scotland last week, and they were very hard done by on the Australian 22 when the awful Craig Joubert called Pocock for interfering in the ruck, the ball squirted out and ruined the Welsh attack, and yet Joubert carried on regardless. Joubert will never be forgiven from me for handing New Zealand the World Cup final 2012, and he demonstrated here again he lacks decision making ability, and confuses himself as well as everyone else.

Despite that Joubert shambles, Wales never really looked like winning this game at any point, but had enough quality to stay in touch and bring the 1-12 home. Even though Jamie Roberts has had a middling season, they missed him here as their two centres with very little rugby of late had little impact. Warburton made some ground with ball in hand but threw some woeful passes that stifled Welsh attack. In general Wales never looked that interested really. Cuthbert was the only one on the field that looked to have any urgency at all. He looks good for a try at some point in this series, but the anytime prices are prohibitively small. If I got 2/1 i’d take it but anything lower is a pisstake by the bookies away from home with a weakened side. Perhaps Wales’ lack of urgency will change in the remaining tests, but with North and Faleteau out, two big parts of their game plan have been negated.

For Australia, Genia was unreal, along with Hooper and I felt Rob Horne had a great game despite butchering a simple overlap in the first half. With Welsh injuries, and Australian morale flying high when a lot of people were writing them off, the -6 available with bet365 looks a steal to me. There’s a common theme here in case you haven’t noticed- that barring some crazy weather, all of the Southern hemisphere handicaps for next weekend look very generous right now, including South Africa’s v England.

South Africa v England Result 22-17

Value Bets Highlighted in Preview

1.I can’t ignore the South Africa -6 and 7 at evens – this didn’t work out in the end but hey, that’s gambling! Foden at the death scuppered the minus 6. Realistically South Africa should have been further out but this can always happen at the end of games

2. Tuilagi 1st try scorer at 14/1 is a decent punt– Always worth a punt this, but generally his form from the Premiership final continued here. Made some good ground in contact, but it was a kicking game really.

3. Pietersen 11/1 1st try scorer. Try scorer bets are always small bets for interest. Pietersen had a good game but looked slightly subdued, possibly tired from his Super 15 exertions. but he’ll get something over the tests I reckon.

I wasn’t too disappointed when England fought back into contention to eventually ruin the handicap, (when it looked like running away from them), as I had a medium sized double on Australia and South Africa to win by 1-12 points. I don’t like putting up doubles on here, but they have their moments and I might put up a special longshot section soon enough.

England started pretty well here and were drawing at half time. A lot of kicking from both sides punctuated a lot of excitement, but that’s what happens when you have the Steyn’s on one side, and Mike Brown and Ben Foden on the other. We alluded to Lancaster’s Foden/Brown shoe-horning experiment in the preview, saying it may blow up in England’s face, but on the balance of things it worked out ok. But it was a precarious balance –Foden was on hand at some crucial junctures to snuff out South African Attacks, but they lost out slightly in that, I don’t think I once seen him and Ashton combine as they often do for England and Northampton. Mike Brown had a decent game overall, despite kicking out on the full a couple of times, but too often he ran back into contact and there was very little support there to help him out. Not his fault, but you have to wonder, had Foden been there with Ashton reading him off his shoulder, would England have looked more like winning?

It’ll be interesting to see how the backline shapes up with Barritt out injured. Christian Wade isn’t tested at this level, but he’s exciting, and he’s a try scorer, and if England are to get a win on this series they’ll have to score tries in the first 79 minutes. If they stuck him on the wing instead of Foden and used both Foden and Brown at full back, with Joseph in the centre, England could beat a big physical South African side that isn’t the most mobile. Farrell offered nothing really on Saturday, (someone needs to have a chat with him about the grubber kicks), and he is most definitely not on form after an absolute shambles of a game against the Barbarians. I don’t like to use definitives, but it was the worst display from an international out half I may have ever seen! Sure it was a nothing game…but he was brutal. Toby Flood has to start next week if he’s fit. If Farrell starts again, it’s hard to see England staying in touch.

As it was, South Africa’s team talk at half time must have noted the fact that this English team are simply much less experienced, smaller, and younger them. They came out in the second half and made their physical presence and experience count by going through the phases and simply running at England. There was an inevitability to the tries but, all credit to England , when it looked like they were about to be on the end of another South African hiding, they re-grouped and kept it respectable, even threatening to win for a small period.

Betting-wise, Barritt being out is a big defensive blow against the physicality that the Springboks bring. I’d expect the second game to start just like the second half did yesterday, and unless Lancaster decides to really go for a running game, they probably won’t win.  Hopefully it’ll be dry to at least make this a possibility. South Africa -10 at bet365 (the only bookie with prices up yet) is good value, as I feel Lancaster won’t change things, and England will have to deal with the same defensive effort tiring them out as on Saturday. If however he does change things, South Africa will have a challenge on their hands that they may not deal with. I’ll be keeping an eye out for prices on England halftime/South Africa fulltime (if Lancaster changes it up more than he has to- which he probably won’t)

** Betting update- South Africa available at -9 in paddypower, SA playing at altitude, and some favourable positional switches- i’m on this one already**

Toulouse v Toulon Result 18-12

Value bets highlighted in Preview

1. Toulouse winning by 1-12 points –This one rolled home nicely, but we were blessed at the death when David Smith fumbled an unsympathetic pass with an almost certain try on the cards

2. Half time/full time Toulouse at evens –This one was agonisingly dashed with McAlister hitting the post on the stroke of half time with a drop goal under the posts, and then an offside penalty given to Toulon. Whiskers away.

3. A drop goal to be scored 4/6– see just above. In total four attempt were missed, three narrowly, one off the post!

4. Toulouse half time/Toulon full time 9/1 (late pick before kick-off, put in preview). – Again, that drop off the posts cost this one any chance of life, Toulon could well have won at the end, and 9/1 was a great price.

In the end Toulouse were very lucky to win this, with Toulon almost in at the death for a try but for some bad passing and handling. Had they gone to hand cleanly, they would have been in, with a conversion for the title. I was happy with the 1-12 coming in, and unhappy the 9/1 htft didn’t come in. It was a typical French final, with murder in the breakdown and plenty of drama. There’s not much to talk about betting-wise after it as that’s the end of the season, except for that it’ll be tough for Toulon to pick themselves up mentally next season after this defeat and the chance they spurned. I wouldn’t want to be David Smith right now who had a good game against Clermont but was pretty bad in the few games previous to that. Hopefully he’s surrounded by people who’ll remind him it’s only a game.

Argentina v Italy Result 37-22

Argentina were -12 at 10/11 for this game. I only got to see the second half of this game when I finally found a feed online (it wasn’t televised), but what I saw of Italy was not encouraging at all.

Argentina had rested the majority of their top players for this game, in anticipation of the 4 nations tournament. They had a lot of guys putting their hands up to go on tour, from regional club sides in Argentina, and they played with a lot of heart. Only Contepomi and Exeter’s Mieres were recognisable in this line-up, and yet they beat an Italian side that was close to full strength save Parisee.

Italy had a number of chances to exploit huge amounts of space in the Argentinian line, and they couldn’t do a thing with it. I was aghast at times to be honest, with the ineptitude that they showed in attack as soon as the ball left the scrum. There is a complete lack of pace there, and the coaching doesn’t seem up to much. They look to have gone backwards and I fear for them in the 6 nations to be honest. I know it’s far away, but they’ll be wooden spooners next year I’m almost certain of it.

I actually fancied Italy to win this, and tweeted that I was putting a few quid on it as they had by far the better set of players on paper. From a punting perspective, don’t write off the Argentinians to win a game in the 4 nations. This second team was powerful, if lacking slightly in refinement, with plenty of pace. Those who make the tour will complement the senior full side well I’m really looking forward to seeing them this summer. For now, I’m not even sure if there is another Italian game (I assume there will be), and if there is, don’t touch Italy with a penny of your money.

Stop by the site during the week as we’ve a bit of U20’s rugby punting on the cards Tuesday

Australia v Wales Rugby Betting Preview, Tips and Odds 11am GMT Jun 9th

Media Rugby Coverage

Sky Sports 2

Best Betting/Team Win Handicap
Australia 4/7 skybet drifting -4 evs williamhill
Wales 7/4 paddypower shortening +5 10/11 stanjames

 

Form Guide

Australia come into this game off a morale draining loss to Scotland at the death last week, and will be keen to make amends. However with the likes of Barnes not on amazing form, and an ordinary backline, Australia will find it difficult enough against the curent 6 nations champions who are generally on the up and up since the agonising loss to France at the world cup. However, Wales played a decent enough side against the Barbarians (albeit missing a large portion of this week’s starters) and should have lost against the pysicality that the Babaas brought. The fact is, with 8 minutes to go, the Babaas had a penalty right in front of the posts that would have taken them 8 points clear, yet they took a scrum, in direct contravention to the Contepomi diretive/anti-barbarian ethos of a week previous versus Ireland where they took a penalty to win in the last 5 minutes. This was indeed a bizarre decision by the Babaas v Wales, particularly seeing as they had looked like they were going for the jugular and badly wanted the win. So despite Wales being on a 6 game winning streak, and having a fantastic side – take the form with a slight pinch of salt- they were lucky in a few six nations games, and the Babaas let them win !

Teams

Notable absences for Australia – Cooper is still out, and is missing with a hamstring injury. For me the loss of Horwill is more important.  It’s rare that you might say that the Australian pack is relatively better than the Australian backline, but that seems to be the case tomorrow for me, with Barnes off form, and Ioane the only real standout. Pat Mccabe will be well able to handle the big Welsh backs, but he can’t do it all on his own. Conrast that to Wales, who are only missing Bennet and Roberts ( not a bog loss) from the world cup first 15.  Games between these two are always tight, and with Australia winning the last two games by tight margins, it’s hard not to look at Wales and think they are in a far better position here.

Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Cooper Vuna, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu , 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rob Simmons , 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Alexander, Dave Dennis, 18 Michael Hooper, 19 Nic White, 20 Anthony Fainga’a, 21 Mike Harris.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins.Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Paul James, 18 Alun Wyn Jones, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 James Hook, 22 Ashley Beck.

Betting Tips

Looking at that Welsh team, it’s hard to resist the punt on them on the plus cap, but i’m going to have to go with my gut here and take Australia for a number of reasons. Firstly, they’re at home, and losing two on the trot to 6 nations sides is just not an option for this lot.  Secondly, Wales were extremely lucky to win agasint Ireland and England in the 6 nations, and had the bounce of the ball not gone their way, would we be looking at an 8 or 9 point handicap here for Australia? Quite possibly.  Priestland isn’t on any notable form, Phillips was part of a relegated Bayonne side, Warburton could see a recurrence of his injury and Tipuric isn’t on the bench. Wales do generally seem to be more than the sum of their individual parts but I think that this one might get away from them, based on Australia wanting it more, and i think they’ll have a better chance of winning further into the series.

  1. Australia 1-12 winning margin is 7/4 in stanjames, and i’ll be taking some of that. With it likely to rain, and last weeks loss to Scotland, Australia will be happy with any kind od a win, and Wales have enough quality to keep things competitive
  2. Toby Faleteau is 25/1 in wiliamhill for 1st tryscorer. Off the back of the scrum, he’s always dangerous, always involved in play, and he’s due a try in my humble opinion! Bit of value here
  3. The draw at 20/1 is one to consider at williamhill and elsewhere. The games between these teams are always tight, and if you think so too, it might be worth a small interest.
  4. No tryscorer is 25/1 in ladbrokes. Look at last week’s game, remeber this welsh side hasnt played together in a while, and it’s raining. If you decide to back this make sure you back the No tryscorer option in the first tryscorer market, as opposed to the straight out ‘No try’- that way, if there’s a penalty try, you still win, and the bookies don’t get one over on you!

Weather– possible rain, warm enough

Ref– Craig Joubert- New Zealand aren’t playing so we should see a fair contest.