Australia will continue their Rugby World Cup campaign this Sunday night as they face off against Wales! We have a full preview and tips for the Wallabies clash below.
Sunday, 5.45pm (AEST)
Sunday’s clash between the Wallabies and Wales is likely going to be the decider for the top spot in Pool D. So it’s fair to say both sides won’t be backing down in this crucial fixture. For the Wallabies, their World Cup campaign started with a shaky first-half performance against Fiji. They fell behind early on and looked sloppy in both defence and attack. But to their credit, they turned it around in the second half.
They outgained Fiji by 316 run metres and dominated the possession (72%). Tolu Latu was dominant up the middle with 2 tries and the Wallabies took advantage of Fiji’s lacking defence as they thankfully covered the line! The only downside after the win was the 3-week suspension of Reece Hodge for a high tackle that left Peceli Yato concussed. Michael Cheika will not be happy with that result at all after he called Fiji out in his press conference for referring the tackle. It will likely see Dane Haylett-Petty take his place and he’ll be the key man to deal with Wales high kick.
The Welsh kicked off the tournament with a comfortable win over Georgia, 43-14. They opened up a sizeable lead after 19 minutes with 3 tries and pretty much cruised to the finish line. It was a fairly soft game where they didn’t have much defence to deal with so it’s probably not the ideal preparation for the tougher Wallabies. But Wales should trouble Australia with their quick ball movement on the edges and solid kicking game. The Wallabies do enjoy an impressive head to head record against Wales considering 27 of 42 meetings have been played in Wales.
Overall, Australia has won 30 of 42 clashes since 1908. In recent times, Wales did breakthrough last November with a 9-6 defensive battle. But Australia had won the previous 13 encounters. They also have a history in the World Cup with the Wallabies winning 15-6 in the 2015 tournament. So this clash figures to be a close game and the odds say the same. Despite Wales owning a poor head to head record, the first game of the World Cup is all we can go off at the moment. So based on Australia’s early struggles against Fiji, Wales will put them away if that happens again and the Wallabies won’t have it all their way in the second half. Wales have performed well in the Six Nations coming into the World Cup and just look to be playing solid Rugby compared to the sloppy Wallabies of late.
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