Australia vs Wales Prediction: A dogfight awaits in Sydney

 | Friday 5th July 2024, 15:06pm

Friday 5th July 2024, 15:06pm

Alex Cox Rugby Union

This Test series between the world’s 9th and 10th ranked International sides in Australia and Wales pits together two sides that are both facing challenges off and on the pitch. Australia are still reeling from the after-effects of the Eddie Jones World Cup disaster and have now lost one of their five Super Rugby teams after the Rebels went into Administration.

Meanwhile the Welsh are on 7 match winless streak, which earnt them the Six Nations wooden spoon and like the Aussies, have their own problems off the pitch with ongoing problems with the Regions and funding. It’s fair to say both of these sides are desperate for a win…
Below you can find my Australia vs Wales prediction.

Australia vs Wales Betting Tips

In an attempt to steer the Wallabies back on course, Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt has taken over the helm. He is an experienced coach and will try to reignite the spark in Australian rugby during this Summer tour, before the Rugby Championship starts. Schmidt has not had long to get up to speed and has named an inexperienced side, opting to reward the Australian-based players as opposed to sending SOS requests for the various Wallabies scattered across Japan, France and the UK.

The Wallaby camp have been filtering out the message that it will take time to gel and start producing Schmidt’s gameplan, however a loss against an average Welsh side would be a disastrous start to their summer, with much tougher opposition around the corner.

Gatland’s summer with Wales kicked off a fortnight ago with an exhibition match against an understrength South Africa side at Twickenham. The Welsh were competitive for the majority of the game but ran out of steam in the second half. We saw the Welsh defence operate to fairly good affect, despite the wheels starting to shake late on, however the bigger concern was how much their attack struggled.

They got minimal front-foot ball and were not able to string together dangerous attacking patterns, meaning the Bok defence did not have to work too hard. I don’t believe either side will be able to execute to a high-standard in this must-win clash and the Welsh will opt to drag the Aussies into a dog-fight where they could have a chance of an upset.

Australia vs Wales Odds

Team News

Australia

Joe Schmidt has only had a handful of training sessions with his new Wallaby side but has set the tone early by naming 7 players in his 23-man squad who will be making their debut on Saturday. Slipper, Faessler and Tupou will be in the front-row - with the latter failing to make much of an impression at the Rebels this season, but will be looking to find his form this summer. With Schmidt opting not to invite overseas players into this squad, there is no Will Skelton, leaving Williams and Salakaia-Loto in the second-row. The back-row contains two Reds on the flank - new skipper Wright and his clubmate McReight, leaving Valentini at no.8.

Gordon gets the nod at scrum-half which was fairly unexpected with most thinking it would be one of McDermott or White. However there is no surprise who will be in the fly-half jersey after an impressive season with the Brumbies for Lolesio. The midfield duo will be Paisami and Flook - the latter earning his first cap after Ikitau was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Daugunu is rewarded with a spot on the left wing after some strong performances for the Rebels, with the reliable Kellaway on the other wing. Wright will be at full-back after he found some form for the Brumbies this year

Wales

Gatland has made some intriguing decisions in his squad selection to take on the Wallabies this weekend, continuing his strategy on giving opportunities to younger players. Thomas, Lake and Griffin will be in the front-row, with the Exeter Chiefs clubmates of Tshiunza and Jenkins in the second-row behind them. Plumtree, Reffell and Wainwright will combine together as the loose forwards. I'm particularly excited to see Reffell vs McReight who are two world-class jackelers - whoever can get on top of that contest will give their side a big advantage.

Bevan continues at scrum-half, however he'll be feeding the ball to Ben Thomas at fly-half earning his first start for Wales. Thomas is predominantly an inside-center and only made 4 starts for Cardiff at 10 meaning he hasn't got a huge amount of game management experience under his belt. Grady and Watkins will partner in the midfield with the former to play a big part in the Welsh attempt at obtaining some front-foot ball.

Dyer has started to cement himself in Gatland's selection for the left-wing, however there will be a debutant on the right-wing this week with 20-year-old Hathaway rewarded after some good performances for a struggling Gloucester side this year. Interestingly he was only named in the wider squad in Gloucester's Premiership squad announcement this week, showing how raw he still is. Finally, Gatland has called back Liam Williams to start at full-back, replacing young Winnett who has been the preferred option more recently.

Under 48.5 pts @ 10/11

Neither side has the cohesion, confidence or attacking prowess for this to turn into a high-scoring affair. With players like Reffell and McReight I believe this will turn into a battle of the breakdown, with the winning side being the one that can win penalties and turn field position into points. Lolesio has improved his kicking considerably and won’t be afraid to point to the sticks instead of chancing their arm in the corner.

Find more Rugby Union Betting Tips here at Betfred Insights.

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