Rugby World Cup: Folau return boosts Australia for Pumas semi
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | October 24, 2015
Argentina v Australia
- Rugby World Cup semi-final
- Sunday, October 25th
- Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
- Twickenham Stadium, London
- Live on ITV
Pumas play Aussies for final spot
Since Rugby World Cup semi-final opponents Argentina entered the Tri Nations to form the Southern Hemisphere Championship in 2012, Australia have won six of the seven head-to-heads.
Coral see no reason for that pattern to change, making the Wallabies odds-on 2/5 favourites for victory in 80 minutes.
Either the Aussies or Pumas, 12/5 match outsiders, will book a return ticket to Twickenham for Saturday, October 31st where they will play the winner of South Africa v New Zealand.
Folau threat and Pocock promise
Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has been able to give his XV a huge boost by recalling number eight David Pocock, whose absence meant Australia were much less convincing during breakdowns against Scotland, and full back Israel Folau.
Although a physical Argentina outfit, which is almost identical to the one that lost 34-9 to the Aussies on home soil back in July, will prepare for Pocock, it is fit again Folau they fear.
In five caps against the Pumas, the wondrous Wallabies full back has scored four tries, including a hat-trick. That makes anytime odds of 9/4 to cross again very generous, and Folau also features in an enhanced matchday special wincast of 9/2. Punters can stake a maximum of £20 on this boosted price bet (from 10/3).
Watch Wallabies in second half
Although he went over for the opener against Scotland, Australia winger Adam Ashley-Cooper grabbed the last try when facing Argentina this summer in one of three crossings, and thus appeals at 9/2 for a second-half score here.
Centre Tevita Kuridrani, meanwhile, is also worth an anytime punt at 10/3. Don’t forget about Drew Mitchell, who knows plenty about tryscoring at the Rugby World Cup finals, at 8/1 to repeat or better his brace when previously seen in action.
Fly half Bernard Foley’s first-half form last time out will have given Cheika cause for concern and, with the Wallabies likely to cross first, a 5/2 price on the opening try not being converted could pay off.
Pumas hopes are usual suspects
Argentina will again look to Mitchell and Folau’s opposite numbers Juan Imhoff (12/5 anytime) and Joaquin Tuculet (11/2) to provide their crossing threat.
Kuridrani counterpart Marcelo Bosch, like Pumas winger Imhoff, has a couple of tries against Australia in the past, so is a 6/1 shot to go over again.
It’s asking an awful lot of Argentina to win when they’ve never beaten a rugby powerhouse like the Wallabies outside their own country, but a big margin of victory like last time just doesn’t look on the cards.
That is reflected in the handicap market being set at six points, and punters get evens on the Aussies winning despite such a deficit. Four of the Wallabies’ six recent wins have come within 10 points, so take 15/8 on that narrow margin of victory bracket.