Rugby: Australia's Next Game, Latest Odds and Analysis
When: Saturday 5 August, 12:35pm (AEST)
Where: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin (capacity 30,000)
Watch: Nine, Stan Sport
Best Odds: Australia 14.0, New Zealand 1.04
How much further can the Wallabies sink after finishing last in the Rugby Championship with three humiliating losses? There’s a sense that the team is about to find out when they visit New Zealand for the first time this year, hoping not to extend a 22-year drought away to the All Blacks to 23 years.
The likelihood of the Wallabies progressing beyond the quarter-finals of this year’s World Cup - or even getting there - is looking increasingly bleak, hence why they are big outsiders for this fixture with Aussie online rugby betting firms.
Head coach Eddie Jones continues to present a calm demeanour in the face of some dreadful results after, for the first time since 2018, Australia lost six times in a seven-game period.
He described the squad during the week as “100 per cent” and “having trained as hard as they can”, which consequently leaves absolutely no room for excuses in their second-last Rugby World Cup warm-up game of 2023.
The Numbers That Matter
- New Zealand have a 7-1 record at Forsyth Barr Stadium
- The All Blacks average 40 points per game when winning at the venue
- Australia failed to cover the pre-match line in all three Rugby Championship games, whilst New Zealand did so in each of their three
- The Wallabies trailed at half-time in each of their last seven defeats
- New Zealand scored the first try in each of their last 12 matches, while the most recent five saw them do so within five minutes
Australia Team News
1. Angus Bell, 2. David Porecki, 3. Pone Fa'amausili, 4. Nick Frost, 5. Richie Arnold, 6. Fraser McReight, 7. Tom Hooper, 8. Rob Valetini, 9. Tate McDermott (c), 10. Carter Gordon, 11. Marika Korobeite, 12. Samu Kerevi, 13. Jordan Petaia, 14. Mark Nawaqanitawase, 15. Andrew Kellaway
In: Pone Fa'amausili, Richie Arnold, Fraser McReight
Out: Allan Alaalatoa, Will Skelton, Jed Holloway
Jones declared last week as the beginning of “a regeneration as a team” and it continues in Dunedin this week with scrumhalf Tate McDermott becoming the 86th man to captain the Wallabies, after last week’s stand-in skipper Allan Allaalatoa suffered a ruptured Achilles in Melbourne.
After he was dropped following the loss to Argentina in the opening week of the Rugby Championship, Fraser McReight was handed another opportunity to claim Michael Hooper’s place in the team permanently, this time being handed the number six shirt.
Richie Arnold continues to walk in circles through the revolving door of Wallabies selection, having been dropped and recalled with McReight also, whilst 130kg Rebels prop Pone Fa'amausili gets his first start at Test level.
This is reported to be the seventh-least experienced starting XV in Wallabies history, boasting just 277 international appearances (average: 18.5) between them, 54 of them to Marika Korobeite alone.
The bench has a wealth of experience due to come off the bench, including co-captain James Slipper as well as veterans Nic White and Quade Cooper.
New Zealand Team News
1. Tamaiti Williams, 2. Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3. Nepo Laulala, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. Samipeni Finau, 7. Sam Cane (c), 8. Ardie Savea, 9. Finlay Christie, 10. Damian McKenzie, 11. Leicester Fainga'anuku, 12. Anton Lienert-Brown, 13. Braydon Ennor, 14. Shaun Stevenson, 15. Will Jordan
In: Tamaiti Williams, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Samipeni Finau, Sam Cane, Finlay Christie, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown, Braydon Ennor, Shaun Stevenson
Out: Ethan de Groot, Codie Taylor, Tyrel Lomax, Scott Barrett, Shannon Frizell, Dalton Papali’i, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo'unga, Mark Telea, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett
Ian Foster has made a mammoth 12 changes to the starting XV that thrashed Australia in Melbourne last weekend, handing out some potential debuts along the way. His adversary Jones insists he’s not taking it as a measure of disrespect, with both sides looking to make the most of this final opportunity to finalise their teams.
Brodie Retallick and Ardie Savea are the only two from the previous side to retain their positions, whilst starting wing Will Jordan shifts to his first international start as a full-back, where he scored tries in three of his last five games for the Crusaders.
Chiefs duo Samipeni Finau and Shaun Stevenson take their places in the backs as debutants, whilst Dallas McLeod will pull on an All Blacks shirt for the first time after a full season with the Super Rugby-winning Crusaders.
A combination of some impressive training sessions and first choice players such as Emoni Narawa failing to recover as quickly as expected has opened the door for so many changes, and given the ease with which their nearly full strength side won last week, no wonder Foster believes “that with what’s coming around the corner this is a great opportunity to give a few a run.”
New Zealand v Australia: What Could Happen This Weekend?
The All Blacks have put up margins of 20+ points in four of their last five wins against Australia and that’s what betting sites are expecting to happen again this weekend, with the line almost doubling to -22.5 as New Zealand head home.
That’s despite almost an entirely new starting XV, half of whom have not accumulated 25+ starts at international level.
There’s perhaps a minor question mark over just how many tries a fresh side with different combinations can pile on the Wallabies, though Ian Foster made a point during the week to assert that his selected team will be taking the assignment as seriously as any other.
One thing that the All Blacks have been doing consistently throughout the last 12 months, no matter what side they field, is opening the scoring and doing so earlier.
They led at the 10-minute mark in six consecutive games before last week, when Wallaby Rob Valetini gave Australia an early lead, and that kind of long-term form makes 1.9 for the All Blacks to be in front at the 10-minute mark a very attractive price.
In his first All Black start as full back, Will Jordan could be keen to push forward in attack and show off what he has been capable of as the Crusaders number 15 and as an All Black winger. He was the first try scorer in New Zealand’s home Test against Australia last season.
Best Bet: New Zealand to lead after 10 minutes - 1.9 @ Ladbrokes
Player Prop: Will Jordan First Tryscorer - 7.5 @ Bet365
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