Boys In Green To Write Off Wallabies
Ireland v Australia
Resurgent Ireland face a frail Australia side on Saturday where Joe Schmidt’s side will be looking to take full advantage of their opponents’ injury woes.
After improving steadily under in last year’s autumn internationals, Joe Schmidt’s Ireland have gone from strength to strength this year. A heroic performance in Paris earned them another Six Nations Championship, and after a successful summer mini-tour, they kicked off their autumn internationals with a memorable victory over South Africa and a demolition of Georgia last weekend.
2014 has been a turbulent year for Australian rugby. A seven match winning streak came to an end in the Rugby Championship, where they finished third, and they were left looking for their third coach in two years after the shock resignation of Ewen McKenzie. Their northern hemisphere tour started well with victory at the Millennium Stadium, but they came unstuck in Paris, losing 29-26 last weekend.
Ireland will once again be without new centre Jared Payne, who has not yet recovered from a foot injury sustained in his international debut against South Africa. In his absence, veteran Gordan D’Arcy is likely to continue in midfield alongside Robbie Henshaw. Chris Henry is a long term injury absentee and lock Mike McCarthy is out with concussion, but Rory Best is back in contention after his calf injury.
Prior to the French game, Australian coach Michael Cheika had stated his intention to try out some new players in Dublin, and despite the loss in Paris, it seems he is sticking to his plan. Centre Matt Toomua, winger Henry Speight and young back rower Jake Schatz could all feature, along Kurtley Beale, who appears to have been welcomed back into the fold following the texting scandal that saw him dropped.
Ireland have won just three of their last twenty-two games against Australia, and have won only nine in total, with six of those victories coming before 1980.
Their recent record is slightly better. They’ve only lost three of their last six, and secured a memorable 15-6 win over the Wallabies at the 2011 World Cup, although the last time they met, twelve months ago, Australia won comfortably, 32-15.
It’s also worth noting that recent games between these sides have tended to be close. Their last five matches have produced an average winning margin of 7.8 points
Australia will always be dangerous opponents, given the talent they can call upon, but given their current state of transition, this is a pretty good time to play them, and a resurgent Ireland side can take full advantage of the Wallabies’ frailties.
Ireland have looked good all year, and after an impressive dismantling of a very strong South African side in their opening autumn fixture, they were just as impressive in their ruthless dispatching of Georgia last weekend. They are a team on the up, and will be eager to bag another southern hemisphere scalp. Back Ireland to win at 3/4 in the Match Betting market.