Australia vs Barbarians – Preview

Best Bet 1: Australia -12.5 @ $1.91 – William Hill

NRC Play

Best Bet 2:  NSW Country Eagles +3.5 @ $1.91 – Sportsbet

AUSTRALIA ($1.19) VS BARBARIANS ($4.75)

The final Test match before the Autumn International season begins takes place at Allianz Stadium in Sydney with a match between an understrength Wallabies outfit and the world-renowned Barbarians on Saturday afternoon. The Wallabies put together their best performance for many a year last weekend at Suncorp Stadium, downing the mighty All Blacks 23 – 18 on a wet night in Brisbane. The Barbarians are an invitational team that plays an expansive and exciting brand of rugby, but only manage to get together once or twice a year. These two teams have clashed on 13 previous occasions, with the Wallabies winning the last nine in what are generally high-scoring affairs.
Australia: Tom Robertson, Jordan Uelese, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Lukhan Tui, Ned Hanigan, Jack Dempsey, Lopeti Timani, Nick Phipps (captain), Duncan Paia’aua, Israel Folau, Bill Meakes, Samu Kerevi, Henry Speight, Karmichael Hunt

Replacements: Stephen Moore, Tetera Faulkner, Jermaine Ainsley, Kane Douglas, Ben McCalman, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Izaia Perese

Barbarians: Pek Cowan, Andrew Ready, Taneila Tupou, Luke Jones, Sam Carter, Isi Naisirani, Matt Hodgson, Wycliff Palu, Augustine Pulu, Quade Cooper (captain), Eto Nabuli, George Moala, Tom Banks, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Tim Nanai-Williams

Replacements: Anaru Rangi, Ben Alexander, Salesi Manu, Matt Philip, Kane Koteka, Theo Strang, Sam Greene, Andrew Kellaway

Prediction:

The Wallabies were simply sensational against the All Blacks last weekend and the squad will have taken a lot of confidence out of that performance. Their defence (90/99 tackles) and set piece were superb and laid the platform needed to outscore the All Blacks, three tries to two. Their discipline also played a crucial role in granting them the victory in front of a very boisterous crowd. Looking at Michael Cheika’s squad, there are a number of rising stars on show, namely Jordan Uelese, Lukhan Tui, Bill Meakes in the starting fifteen and Izaia Perese on the bench.

The Barbarians are known for their enterprising play and they will look to throw the ball around and score tries on Saturday. The squad selected by former Wallabies coach and now radio jockey, Alan Jones, is one that exudes X-factor. Taniel Tupou’s power will be on show in the front row and keep an eye out for Isi Naisirani, the newly signed Brumbies back rower. He will be eligble to play for the Wallabies next year and I expect him to be pushing for selection during the June 2018 series against Ireland. The entire backline has the ability to create moments of individual brilliance with captain Quade Cooper in charge of comandeering a powerful back line.

With so many first-choice players (excluding Israel Folau) being rested by Michael Cheika this week, the cohesiveness certainly won’t be there for the home team, but at the same time, there are a number of players (from both teams) who will be looking to impress the national coach ahead of the European tour. The Barbarians culture is built around solid social outings, but given they are professional rugby players, once they run onto the field they will be all business and looking to achieve the Barbarians first win in Australia. The Wallabies will have the edge in the set piece and should have more fluidity than a makeshift Barbarians outfit. There are also a number of aging bodies in the ‘Baabaas’ who havent played for a number of weeks, which I feel will be to their detriment. The Wallabies will be disappointed if they don’t win this one by double digits.

Predicted result: Australia to win @ $1.19 – Sportsbet

Best Bet 1: Australia -12.5 @ $1.91 – William Hill

 

Author

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Glenn

Glenn has followed rugby union for 15 years and has expert knowledge on the game freely committing to over 500 viewing hours a year. Having played with and against some current Super Rugby players and International superstars, he understands the game, the players and the laws inside out. Having been born in South Africa, spent time in New Zealand and currently living in Australia, Glenn lives and breathes rugby. With so many different tournaments happening around the world simultaneously and the addition of Rugby Sevens to the Olympic program, there are always plenty of healthy betting options available. An obsession, a passion, call it what you will, Glenn enjoys sharing his insight, opinions and predictions with anyone who wants to listen.

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