June International Test Matches – Week 3 Preview

Best Bet 1: South Africa -12.5 @ $1.82 – Tab.co.nz

AUSTRALIA ($1.02) VS ITALY ($15.00)

Australia return to Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon to face Italy. The Wallabies suffered a shock 19-24 loss to Scotland last weekend in Sydney, which has the local rugby public seething and calling for heads. The Italians were unfortunate to go down to Fiji after flyhalf Ben Volavola sunk the visitors with an injury-time drop goal to defeat the Azzurri, 19 – 22. Of the 16 games played, Australia has never lost to the Italians with the most recent outing in 2013 seeing the Wallabies trounce Italy in Rome, 50 – 20.

Australia (2017): WL
Italy (2017): LLLLLLL

Prediction:

Michael Cheika has wielded the axe making six changes to his starting 15. Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (captain), Rory Arnold and Lopeti Timani all come into the pack and Sefa Naivalu and Rob Horne will wear the number 11 and 13 jerseys respectively. The selections of both Stephen Moore and Rob Horne, two of Michael Cheika’s favourites, baffles me and I think it is a step in the wrong direction. Moore is off his game and been for the past couple of seasons and Horne is off to Europe and has never really made the most of his international opportunities. I would’ve considered shifting Israel Folau to 13 and moving Dane Haylett-Petty to fullback, allowing Marika Koroibete some game time on the wing. Alternatively, Reece Hodge will be a 50+ cap Wallaby and he deserves some time in the middle alongside players who can complement his skillsets and booming boot, unlike what he has at the Rebels.
Italy is experimenting with a youthful line-up and a 13-34 loss to Scotland was compounded with a 19–22 loss to the physical Fijians. This week they come up against an Australian line-up that has their backs to the wall, facing criticism internally and from the public. There simply isn’t enough experience amongst the visitor’s, or talent for that matter, to give a hurting Wallabies squad a scare. I can actually see Australia winning this match quite comfortably and scoring some good tries in the process, but their opposition this week isn’t of a high-calibre and the victory will act as a mere band-aid, for the bigger problems that lie ahead.

Predicted result: Australia to win @ $1.02 – Sportsbet

SOUTH AFRICA ($1.18) VS FRANCE ($4.90)

The third and final Test of the June Internationals between South Africa and France will take place at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday night. South Africa hold an unassailable 2-0 series lead having beaten a full strength French outfit, 37- 15 at Kings Park in Durban. The Springboks will be looking for their fifth consecutive victory over Les Bleus in what would be a huge boost for their confidence heading into The Rugby Championship starting in August.

South Africa (2017): WW
France (2017): LWLWWL

Prediction:

Alastair Coetzee has made six changes to the third and final Test match 23. Ruan Dreyer will make his Springbok debut at tighthead prop and Jean Luc du Preez replaces the injured Oupa Mohoje at blindside flanker. Francois Hougaard gets his first start in the nine jersey for some time, with Ross Cronje out injured. Jesse Kriel also returns from concussion to replace Lionel Mapoe. On the bench, Jaco Kriel and Rudy Paige look set to get their first minutes of the Test season under their belts. French coach Guy Noves has made three changes for the dead rubber match, all of which come in the backline. Flyhalf Jules Plisson returns in place of Francois Trinh Duc, Nans Ducuing comes in for Yoann Huget on the wing and the mercurial Brice Dulin takes over from the South African-born Scott Spedding.

This series has been all about South Africa and their evolution from the despair of last year. The Springboks are laden with Lions players who have been one of the form teams in Super Rugby this season with just the one loss and they will get a lift playing at home. A belief is building, but in my opinion, they are still well behind the eight ball in terms of being able to match it with the All Blacks later on in the season. This match will give us a real understanding of where they are at mentally. Do they fold against a tiring French outfit in a game that doesn’t really matter, or do they continue to build and put a ruthless performance together to whitewash the series? I don’t necessarily think they will thrash France, but I do feel that the Springboks are a two-try or better team than the French at the moment and they simply want this more. Fortunately for France, their end of season holidays begin after this match.

Predicted result: South Africa to win @ $1.18 – Sportsbet

Best Bet 1: South Africa -12.5 @ $1.82 – Tab.co.nz

Author

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Glenn

Glenn has followed rugby union for 19 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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