Rugby World Cup Pool A: Wallabies wary of Biggar boot for Wales decider
Wales haven’t beaten Australia away from native soil since 1987, winning just two of their 25 meetings since, so Coral make Warren Gatland’s team 5/2 outsiders for victory at Twickenham, which would take them top of Rugby World Cup Pool A.
Finishing in first place in this group is essential, as the Wallabies or Welsh will thus avoid resurgent South Africa in the quarter-finals, and that means this match is anything but a dead rubber.
Australia fly half Bernard Foley, who almost single-handedly dumped England out of their own Rugby World Cup last time out, is wary of counterpart Dan Biggar, with Wales 6/4 to make the first scoring play a penalty, and this final fixture.
“The way he’s controlled the games has been outstanding, and his goal-kicking has spoken for itself,” said Foley, who is 7/2 for another Twickenham try here.
“Wales use their backs to get on the front foot… and their forwards are just tireless as well, so it’s going to be a really good contest for us, a great challenge. You can’t relax against a team like Wales, they’ve got such quality players and especially their outside backs can definitely hurt you.”
Both Gatland and opposite number Michael Cheika, odds-on at 4/11 to steer his side to victory here, have made changes with one eye rightly on the knockout phase. Wales hand a first start to New Zealand-born full back Gareth Anscombe, and he is 5/1 to cross for a try anytime to mark the occasion.
Gatland is also attempting to combat the Aussies’ strengths at the breakdown, despite Michael Hooper picking up a ban, by putting Justin Tipuric and skipper Sam Warburton in as flankers. George North moves to centre, meanwhile, and is splendid value in an enhanced 9/1 matchday special wincast. You can stake a maximum of £20 on that boosted bet.
The Wallabies have in-form scrum half Gareth Davies to worry about, with four tries in three Pool A outings so far. Punters are once again rewarded with great odds of 9/4 for him to cross here.
Besides the banned Hooper, Australia winger Rob Horne misses out through injury, but full back Israel Folau has proved his fitness. Drew Mitchell, who grabbed two tries against group whipping boys Uruguay, deputises out wide, and is 7/1 for a brace or better again.
Each of the last five between Wales and the Wallabies have ended in narrow defeats for the Celtic nation, so the Aussies appeal at 9/2 to repeat a margin of victory in the 1-5 points bracket. It is going to be close again, with thrashings very rare in this fixture recently.
Coral’s top tip: While Davies keeps scoring, we’re going to tip him at a nifty 9/4 for another try against the Aussies.