Autumn Internationals week 1 tips: Wallabies for narrow Wales win, All Blacks to smash Ireland
Jamie Clark | 5 November 2016
2016 Autumn Internationals week 1 tips
There’s an early start to the Autumn Internationals as Southern Hemisphere heavyweights Australia and New Zealand begin their Tours with Celtic clashes.
The Wallabies and all-conquering All Blacks, even at home, are daunting prospects for the Welsh and Irish respectively, because of superb recent records against them.
Coral’s rugby union expert has cast his eye over the betting and come up with top 2016 Autumn Internationals week 1 tips, looking at the best Wales v Australia odds and Ireland v New Zealand bets available…
Wales v Australia odds: Side with Wallabies for narrow win
Warren Gatland’s Dragons hosting the Aussies, still coached by an under-fire Michael Cheika, is a battle between two relatively out of form sides. Both endured winless summers as respective Tour travellers (to New Zealand) and hosts (to England).
Managing just one win in six Tests since March, Wales are short at 6/5 to end their losing streak, but the Wallabies are odds-on 4/6 favourites to record just their fourth victory in 12.
Although the Dragons are buoyed by the return of Leigh Halfpenny at full back for his first Test in over a year, Gatland has a number of injuries to contend with.
North carries Dragons try threat
Many of the eight changes Wales make from the end of their winless Tour of New Zealand are down to this. They are without backs Liam and Scott Williams, back row duo Toby Faletau and Sam Warburton, plus locks Jake Ball and Alun Wyn Jones, who has a family bereavement.
Bearing that in mind, it is hard to make a case for the hosting Dragons. A fully-fit George North is always a plus on the Welsh wing, though. With three tries in his last five against Australia, he’s a worthy anytime scorer punt to cross at 6/4.
Alex Cuthbert, down the other side, is also worth considering to go over in this fixture at 2/1 with a couple of prior crossings when previously paired with the Wallabies.
Aussies to edge encounter
It’s rarely the outright result in rugby union betting that appeals, though the margin of victory market does offered up a tasty nugget to punters. Australia are on a streak of 11 wins in a row over the Dragons and 10 of those by nine points or less.
That makes a 21/10 price on 1-10 points bracket as the Wallabies’ margin of victory very tempting indeed, especially considering recent differences in games with South Africa and Argentina.
Cheika continues to be relatively consistent about selection, so the Aussies only make enforced changes. Samu Kerevi is injured, so Tevita Kuridrani comes in at centre, while back row forward Dean Mumm is banned. This allows David Pocock to return but at blindside flanker.
Powerful Kuridrani has a try against Wales on his CV, so may be worth backing to cross again at 7/2 anytime. Wallabies full back Israel Folau has three in his last three outings in the fixture, so is understandably shorter to go over at 6/4.
Ireland v New Zealand bets: Tryscorers galore for Kiwis
It’s a daunting prospect battling the All Blacks at the best of times, but Ireland have never managed anything but a draw against them and New Zealand recently set a new record of 18 consecutive international rugby union wins.
That’s why the Kiwis are overwhelming odds-on 1/25 favourites for victory over 10/1 outsiders the Irish at Soldier Field in Chicago. There is simply no case to be made for doubting the top rugby team on earth.
Joe Schmidt names an experienced Ireland XV, 10 of which started their historic maiden Tour win over South Africa in June. Although buoyed by the return of backs Simon Zebo and Rob Kearney, plus kicker Jonny Sexton at fly half, Iain Henderson is absent at lock.
Murray may be best tryscorer bet for Irish
Scrum half Conor Murray is the man in-form when it comes to tryscoring, with four in eight caps this year and two previous crossings against the All Blacks. That makes anytime odds of 4/1 stand out among Ireland v New Zealand bets.
The Irish back row forwards have also gone over with relative regularity in recent Tests, so flanker CJ Stander (3/1 after two in four) and number eight Jamie Heaslip (better at 11/2 following three in five) are attractive alternatives in the same market.
From an All Blacks perspective, it is impossible to ignore the claims of prolific winger Julian Savea, who has scary stats of 45 tries in 49 caps. He’s odds-on at 4/6 to go over again anytime, and better 15/2 to cross first. Savea has a hat-trick against Ireland on his CV.
Dangers everywhere in All Blacks ranks
Better value is available on Kiwis fly half Beauden Barrett at 15/8 in the anytime market, who has seven tries in his last eight.
New Zealand full back Ben Smith boasts a return of seven crossings in his last nine Tests, so having crossed when previously paired with the Irish is a 10/11 chance to do so again.
In-form hooker Dane Cole (11/8 anytime) and centre Ryan Crotty (at 3/1), who scored an overtime winner when the All Blacks last beat Ireland are also worth considering for tries.
To a man, the Kiwis look more athletic and are unbeatable at the moment. Couple this with a neutral venue, and the alternative handicap of -29 points and a New Zealand win at 6/4 could well reward punters. The All Blacks have covered this margin in three of their last six meetings with the Irish.
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Coral’s top tip: Take 21/10 for an Australia win over Wales by a margin of 1-10 points.
Backing our Wales v Australia odds and Ireland v New Zealand