Rugby World Cup betting: Aussies freerolling against England

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Updated: October 3, 2015

Rugby World Championship featured betting preview – Pool A: England (1-0-1) v Australia (2-0-0), Twickenham, London, England; Sunday, October 4, 6am (for nation profiles, click here; for the tournament schedule, click here)

 

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Much of the focus of Australia’s great sporting rivalry with England has been on the regular Ashes series of recent years. But the stakes are ridiculously high for the Three Lions tonight when England host the Wallabies at Twickenham. No host nation has ever failed to make the quarter-finals of a Rugby World Cup, and England are standing on that precipice. Tickets are in such demand for this contest that they are reported to be selling for up to £4000 each. Two games in six days has meant that Michael Cheika had to chop and change his side but there’s no mistaking that tonight’s XV is his strongest available. Less than a year ago Australia were dominated up front by England’s scrum.

But, under the tutelage of Mario Ledesma, they are no longer a soft touch. The Wallabies have to be respected after winning the Rugby Championship. Their belief to hang in when behind against South Africa and then to achieve a first Test win over New Zealand in four years shows how far Cheika (pictured below) has brought a side that felt lost in the latter days of Ewen McKenzie’s reign. Australia have an array of talent unafraid to take risks (the likes of Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Matt Giteau) but, importantly, Cheika has instilled a focus and drive into this team who just don’t know when they’re beaten.

 

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England, too, won’t have lacked for determination this week, desperate to put last weekend’s crushing loss behind them. Chris Robshaw’s role as England captain always means he will be in the firing line, but the level of over-the-top criticism thrown at him in the past week has been unreasonable. The loss of Billy Vunipola is serious considering his performances since he was dropped last November and how he has played in 2015, although Ben Morgan rarely lets his country down. Joe Launchbury, meanwhile, starts just his second Test since England’s 2014 tour of New Zealand. But the major return is Jonathan Joseph. He is England’s key – a distributor with enough pace and footwork to open up defences on his own.

His fitness wasn’t guaranteed until Friday but Ben Youngs being healthy enough to start is huge news for England, because as soon as he left the field against Wales, the hosts began to unravel. Youngs has been the standout scrum-half for England for years. Australia have won just one of its past four at Twickenham but have a massive edge here due to the pressure on the hosts. Since 2000 the average score line between these rivals is 22-20 in England’s favour when playing at home but Australia have won six of their seven internationals this year. We can’t wait for this one!

 

 

Confirmed bet

England v Australia +2.5 (one unit @ $1.91)

 

Most recent results: 1-0, +1.04 units; overall record: 9-1, +8.83 units

Tonga v Namibia +18.5 (one unit @ $2.04) WIN (35-21)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Pinnaclebet (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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