2018 International Rugby: Wales v Australia Preview

A rugby player fends off a tackle

Wales will look to build on a solid win over Scotland with another convincing display against Australia at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, writes Shaun Goosen.


Wales v Australia

10 November 19h20
Principality Stadium, Cardiff

To Win (80 mins)
Wales 8/10
Draw 18/1
Australia 21/20


Handicap
Wales  (-1) 9/10
Australia (+1) 9/10
*forecast handicaps

The Welsh saw off their Celtic rivals 21-10 on the weekend, courtesy of tries to George North and Jonathan Davies. They never let Scotland get going and as such the result was never really in doubt.

Heading into this week’s clash with Australia, however, Warren Gatland’s men have a much greater task at hand. The last time the Dragons got the better of their southern counterparts was as far back as 2008, with just 10 wins to speak of in 41-Test matches overall.

Subsequently, Australia are coming off a 20-37 Bledisloe 3 loss to the All Blacks a fortnight ago that condemned them to a third-straight defeat to their trans-Tasman rivals in 2018. Michael Cheika’s men will be hurting and desperate for a chance at putting some pride back into their game and that will make them doubly dangerous.

With rain expected, the conditions will be favourable to the hosts. A lot will depend on Gareth Anscombe’s ability to keep the Wallabies pinned inside their own half from 10. With strike runners like Davies outside of him, he also has options to tear into the Aussie’s defensive line.

2018 has seen the woes of the Australian tight five return. They will be under immense pressure to cope with the likes of Ken Owens and company at the set piece and should be wary of conceding too many penalties on Saturday. Playing a tight game will be key for them.

David Pocock and Michael Hooper’s impact at the tackle point will go a long way to determining the outcome of the contest. If Wales allow them too much time and space, they could have a field day.

Verdict: Australia 21/20
In spite of some haphazard results this year, the Wallabies should still have too much firepower for this Dragons side and should come out on top by 10-points at least.


Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets

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