Betting with the heart is something you always must park to the side when your national team is in action at World Cups in any sport. Sadly, I have not listened to that advice during the Rugby World Cup but there is still plenty more ahead to get back on track, even if not for Wallabies fans.
We previewed last week’s game as “le catastrophe” if things went wrong and so it turns out against Wales in a 40-6 debacle. Playing minnows Portugal early on Monday morning (AEDT) is the Wallabies’ last gasp at the tournament barring two miracles.
What’s in store?
Australia v Portugal Betting Tips
Monday, Oct 2 Saint Etienne 2.45am (AEDT)
The Wallabies have played poorly with the pressure on against both Fiji and Wales. The Australians faded twice when those games were there to be taken even when behind.
The pressure is off to a degree against Portugal. Anyone who thinks the Wallabies can still make the quarter-finals is crazy so there should be some freedom to how the Wallabies play. That’s a good thing.
The big change for the Wallabies is drafting a new centre pairing in Lalakai Foketi and Isaia Perese. You get a proven partnership here with the two NSW Waratahs. It’s true that Samu Kerevi just didn’t find his trademark stormtrooper punch and dynamism at this tournament after his leg injuries.
The punch will be wider out this time with Perese capable of some real line-busting damage from outside centre. He’s not a great passer of the ball but breaking the line will still create overdue chances for wingers Marika Koroibete and Mark Nawaqanitawase. The Wallabies have been negligent in many areas of their game and not being able to feed Koroibete more ball is one of them.
You’ve got to believe Koroibete ($1.65) and Nawaqanitawase ($1.55) scoring Anytime Tries are attractive bets. Perese ($2.30) or Andrew Kellaway ($2) to score as well are worthy options at TAB.com.au.
Can’t believe there is $1.95 around about the Wallabies covering a 25.5-point margin. That’s just sports bookies reading all the stories about how dreadful the Wallabies are. The day the Wallabies can’t beat Portugal by 26 points is the day the code has to shut down in Australia.
The Portuguese played some attractive rugby to draw 18-all with Georgia in Toulouse and had a kick to win it. The Wallabies, on their game, should have a 40-point win in them. Remember the start against Georgia? The Wallabies were clinical to start with and went bang-bang with two early tries. More of that against Portugal and the Wallabies can play more freely for the remaining 65 minutes and look like the side that Eddie Jones wants them to be.
The Wallabies are crying out for some big individual performances. Halfback Tate McDermott, flanker Fraser McReight, Koroibete or Nawaqanitawase, fullback Andrew Kellaway, lock Nick Frost...take your pick. The Wallabies need some huge performances to fall in behind.
The Australians have named their best side which is not always the case against lesser lights so there is that to reinforce the idea of a clear margin of victory as well.
For Portugal, flanker Nicholas Martins and winger Raffaele Storti are two eye-catchers who are showing that Portugal deserve respect at the code’s greatest showpiece.
So to be clear... the Wallabies to cover the margin and a Kellaway try ($2 at TAB) are the bets.
Fiji v Georgia
Sunday, Oct 1, Bordeaux 1.45am (AEDT)
The Fijians have picked their strongest side which is why you can zero in on this game with confidence. Win and they are all but assured of heading to the quarter-finals. There’s plenty of motivation to win well so they can cover the start. The Georgians will be up to the task in the forwards but there’s too much razzle-dazzle with the flying Fijians. The Fijians won 45-10 at the 2019 World Cup and have that look again.
Fiji -18.5: $1.90 at TAB