Rugby Union Betting: Wales worth a bet on the handicap in another close encounter with Australia
October 31, 2016
Recommended bet: Wales +1.5 point handicap @ 9/10 (1.90) with Bookmaker.com.au
Australia begin their European tour with a tough-looking encounter with Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
The head-to-head record certainly favours the Wallabies, who have won their last 11 games against Wales dating back to 2008. That said, the winning margin has been eight-points or less in each of the last seven matches and four points or less in five of those seven.
The last meeting was just over a year ago in Pool A of the 2015 World Cup. It was a low-scoring game with no tries at Twickenham, with the Wallabies prevailing 15-6.
At the time of writing Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was still trying to secure scrum-half Will Genia’s services for the match. Although included in the squad, Genia is currently ruled out of the tour opener and the final Test against England as he isn’t eligible to play outside the November Test window due to his being on the books of Stade Français.
By contrast, Wales will have England-based players George North and Jamie Roberts both available after Premiership Rugby stressed its “gesture of flexibility” is a one-off.
Bath number eight Taulupe Faletau would also have been available for the Welsh on the same basis, but he is ruled out with a knee injury until the latter half of November. He will be a big miss.
The Wallabies have also included Fijian-born Marika Koroibete in their squad without his having played any Super Rugby. It’s caused controversy in some quarters, but the former Melbourne Storm speedster is a dynamic winger with pace to burn and looks worthy of his call-up.
The Welsh will be under caretaker coach Rob Howley, whilst Warren Gatland is off on British & Irish Lions duties. Howley was in charge under similar circumstances in 2013 when Wales went on to win the Six Nations, so he’s hardly a novice.
Wales went to New Zealand for a three match series in June and, unsurprisingly, they lost all three games. However, they were largely competitive which augurs well here.
Everything points to this being another tight encounter and with the Wallabies form being far from impressive of late, taking Wales +1.5 points on the Handicap looks worth an interest.