Rugby World Cup quarter-finals: Awesome Australia to smash Scots
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | October 16, 2015
Australia v Scotland
Rugby World Cup quarter-final
Sunday, October 18th
Kick-off: 16:00 BST
Twickenham Stadium, London
Live on ITV
Another slow start shall see Scots slaughtered
Should Scotland struggle to get out of the blocks once again in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia, then this match is going to make hideous viewing for the Tartan Army.
The Wallabies are overwhelming odds-on 1/10 favourites with Coral for victory in 80 minutes, while Vern Cotter’s team are massive 8/1 outsiders to upset the Aussies at Twickenham.
Australia have dispatched England and then Wales at the spiritual home of rugby union, and are poised to complete their hat-trick of Home Nations here.
Ford and Gray bans overturned
Hooker Ross Ford and lock Jonny Gray were set to both be absent through suspension, and them being missing would’ve really hurt Scotland for this fixture. Their bans have been overturned, however, so Vern Cotter may make a late change and include both after initially not naming them in the Scottish XV.
Whoever makes their line-up, lethargy from Cotter’s crew has already seen them concede the first try in all four of their Rugby World Cup Pool B fixtures. It’s no wonder the Wallabies are odds-on at 4/9 to get over before them.
Peter Horne replaces Matt Scott at inside centre for the Scots, while Blair Cowan returns as blindside flanker. Tommy Seymour has three tries for the Home Nation at this tournament, and is worth a punt at 7/2 to go over again anytime.
Laidlaw: We won’t just “make up the numbers”
Captain Greig Laidlaw believes Scotland are in with a chance if they put in their “best performance”. “We’re not just going to sit back and let Australia come and play at us,” he said. “We’re solely fixed on putting in our best performance when we take that field. If we do that we believe we can be in the hunt.”
Laidlaw leads the total points scored table for an individual player at the Rugby World Cup with 60, and his proficient kicking has got the Scots out of jail many times. A 7/4 price says the first scoring play will be a Scotland penalty.
Wallabies fine without Folau and Pocock
Australia are not at full strength either with full back Israel Folau and number eight David Pocock failing to prove their fitness, though flanker Michael Hooper is back from a ban and free to play.
Ben McCalman, whose heroic defending in the Pool A decider denied Wales even though they had a two-man advantage, comes in alongside Kurtley Beale, who is 2/1 for a try anytime.
The Wallabies have shared out tryscoring responsibilities, and that makes that market a little unpredictable here, but in-form fly half Bernard Foley is a tasty 10/3 to go over for a third time at this Rugby World Cup. His kicking knocked out England and helped the Aussies past Wales.
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Coral’s top tip: Scotland are cruising for a heavy defeat, and Australia appeal to be 21-30 points better at 3/1.