Rugby Union Betting Preview: Australia capable of covering the Handicap against France
November 14, 2016
Recommended bet: Australia -4 points handicap @ 10/11 (1.91) with bet365
It’s two from two for Australia on their European Grand Slam tour but, after a convincing 32-8 victory against Wales, the Wallabies were less convincing in edging out Scotland 23-22 at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh last Saturday.
Australia left it late in the Scottish capital, with Tevita Kuridrani’s try with just four minutes of the match remaining being converted by Bernard Foley to snatch victory. It was a near repeat of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final a year ago when Foley’s boot also broke Scottish hearts late on.
Australia were outscored by tree tries to two by the Scots and, as in the World Cup defeat, Vern Cotter’s team could count themselves unfortunate not to win.
The Wallabies now move on to Paris to face France at the Stade de France on Saturday evening. The French themselves had a convincing 52-8 win against Samoa last weekend, with winger Virimi Vakatawa running in three of their seven tries.
The margin of victory may have been emphatic, but it was a costly game with regards to injuries for France coach Guy Noves, with flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc breaking his arm and prop Jefferson Poirot hurting his shoulder. Both will miss out against the Wallabies and there are also serious doubts as to the availability of flankers Kevin Gourdon (ankle and knee) and Loann Goujon (hip). In addition, centre Remi Lamerat also picked up a knock.
On the plus side, the victory over Samoa came on the back of a 27-0 success away to Argentina in late June. It suggests that the Tricolors are finding some form after a poor Six Nations earlier in the year which included defeats away to both of Australia’s last two opponents – Wales (19-10) and Scotland (29-18).
The last time the teams met was almost exactly two years ago, also at the Stade de France. On that occasion France edged home 29-26, but Australia won the previous three meetings and eight of the last 10 in total.
This looked a tough task for France as it was, but their injuries could just prove to be the decisive factor in favour of Michael Cheika’s team. Australia to cover the Handicap of -4 points looks a decent rugby bet.