The international rugby union series between Australia and France will continue on Tuesday night from Melbourne at 8.00pm. The Aussies won a nailbiter in game one and will be looking to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Jim Tucker has you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the action below.
Tues, July 13, AAMI Park, Melbourne 8pm (AEST)
The Wallabies were beyond rusty last week when they fell behind 15-0 to France because their greatest sins were with poor basics. Not finding touch with a penalty kick to touch, Noah Lolesio spilling a high ball (albeit a great French torp), calling a long throw for debutant hooker Lachy Lonergan’s first in Test rugby (it was a misfire), little knock-ons...there’s the start of a list. As the Paul Kelly song lyrics go “I’ve done all the dumb things.” The Wallabies still hung in, came back and showed resilience to pinch it 23-21 in Brisbane. On balance, the Wallabies have far more improvement in them than the French and will have learnt from all their first Test hiccups.
Don’t overlook the fact that only two Wallabies had played in the previous Test against the French five years earlier so the French style would have caught out plenty of less experienced players. This time, the Aussies will be ready for the different defensive set-up of the French, their breakdown tricks and so on. No French team has won a Test in Australia since 1990 and that is still the biggest pointer here.
The Wallabies have made just a single change with prop Taniela Tupou coming into the starting side. He'll only play 50 minutes at most but he can cause some real damage at scrum time and in the loose. Also, expect the Wallabies pack to be more clinical with cleanouts and ball presentation so the backs are slicker. No.8 Harry Wilson and flanker Rob Valetini are impressive players and a big game from one of the backrowers will get the Wallabies rolling.
Strangely, the margin betting options are almost identical with the first Test. There’s good reason to believe the Wallabies will make a fast start this time and cover the 9.5-point margin at half-time at $2.80 with Sportsbet. Play it safe if you like and take the Wallabies to cover 9.5 over the full course of the match.
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