Rugby World Cup: England v Australia Preview

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

England v Australia | Saturday 3 October | Twickenham, London | 21:00




This will not be the first Anglo-Australian derby to take place at a World Cup. The two arch-rivals have been pitted against each other at five of the previous seven tournaments. While they’ve been involved in two epic World Cup finals, this game holds a similar significance, particularly for the English. A loss here would see the hosts dumped out of their own tournament before the playoffs.

The rivalry between the two sides coupled with the hosts desperation to pull their World Cup dreams out of an ever-growing fire is sure to see this one go down in the annals as a World Cup classic. With Hollywoodbets offering some fantastic odds, why not make some money while you’re watching it all unfold?




To Win (80 Mins)
England  7/10
Draw  22/1
Australia  11/10

Handicap
England (-2.5) 9/10
Australia (+2.5) 9/10

England

There was rapturous applause from the Twickenham crowd when Chris Robshaw opted to kick for touch instead of goal late on in the second stanza last weekend against Wales. The hosts were trailing their Welsh neighbours by three points, with barely a minute to play, when the England skipper told Owen Farrell to stick it in the corner. A poor decision to hit the two ball jumper resulted in the Welsh pack, unceremoniously shunting a weak English maul into touch.In hindsight, Robshaw will deeply regret the decision to go for broke. It has left his team in dire straits, especially considering that their opponents for this weekend have been in fine fettle.  If England fails to get a result from this encounter, they can kiss their World Cup aspirations goodbye.With so much on the line on Saturday, Lancaster has decided to fast track centre, Jonathan Joseph’s return from injury with the Bath man set to partner Brad Barritt in the centres.  There is also a return to the starting fifteen for Ben Morgan, who comes in at number eight for Billy Vunipola.The English have won three of the seven games played between the pair, with their most famous victory coming in the 2003 final held in Sydney.

Australia

While Michael Cheika’s side is yet to face one of the big guns in the group, they have been impressive in their displays against the tier two nations. Having come out trumps in a hard fought affair against the Fijians, the Wallabies second string went on to dismantle the Uruguayans last Saturday. While the fifteen point victory over Fiji showed the first team have enough grit to grind out a result, the second string's display may have given Cheika more food for thought.

Although Wycliff Palu’s tournament has been cut short due to injury, the Wallabies have an able deputy in Ben McCalman. The young loose forward was in fine form against the ‘Tero’s last Sunday and is likely to find himself elevated to the first team bench for this encounter.  Another man who will have given Cheika a selection headache is mercurial pivot, Quade Cooper. While his goal kicking last Sunday was nothing short of atrocious, his distribution skills set the Wallaby backline alight. With incumbent ten, Bernard Foley, struggling for form, Cooper may just find himself in the run out fifteen come Saturday evening.

On average the Australians have scored 14.4 points, per game, in their World Cup encounters, while the English have averaged 13.8 points per game.

Verdict: Australia 11/10
It’s going to be a tight run thing but I think the Australians may just put an end to any hope that the English have of qualifying for the quater-finals.


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