Ireland vs Australia, is likely to be the match of the weekend and there is a lot at stake for both teams. Ireland will want to use their Australian fixture as a statement match, proofing they are a team on the rise, capable of mixing it up with the best teams in world rugby.While Australia themselves would want to use this match to show the world they are returning to their former best, after undergoing some tough years. It looks like Australian rugby is finally starting to shift into gear. The Ireland vs Australia match will show us just how far the Wallabies has come as a team. A win against Ireland will see Australia recording a grand slam of their European tour, thus the million dollar question who will win the last of the autumn internationals Ireland or Australia? This is our complete Australia vs Ireland match preview and prediction.
Ireland VS Australia Prediction & Preview
It has been a
good terrific year for Irish rugby. After Ireland failed to impress in the Six-Nations at the start of 2016, despite being one of the favourites to win it. They regrouped after the tournament, fixed a few issues they had within the team, and bounced back with a terrific win against South Africa. Their first ever on South African soil! Since then there was no looking back for the Irish.
We have written extensively, throughout the year, how highly we rate this Irish team and their win against New Zealand at Soldier field, Chicago emphasize our point. True Ireland lost last week against New Zealand, a bruising encounter,which could have gone either way, with the scoreline perhaps flattering the Kiwis at the end.
Ireland Suffering From Injuries
We believe Ireland would have gained a lot of confidence in last weeks fixture, however Ireland’s competitiveness came at a high price. Ireland suffered a number of injuries to key players. Jonny Sexton. who is the Beauden Barrett of the Irish team i.e their star player, is likely to miss the Australian match along with centre Robbie Henshaw.
If that is not enough Ireland’s fullback, Rob Kearney along with their dangerous winger, Simon Zebo will also miss the Australian match. Thus, it will be an entire backline reshuffle for Ireland. This can ultimately have a damming impact on Ireland’s hopes of recording a victory against Australia.
Ireland Looking Good Upfront
Despite injury problems with the backline, Ireland is healthy in the forward department. Ireland will field a formidable forward pack and it is in the loose trio department where they are especially strong. Irish Flanker Sean O’Brien is emerging as one of the world’s top flankers, a breakdown specialist and strong runner, O’Brien can potentially wreak havoc at the break down situations, and will likely claim a number of turnovers for Ireland, like he did in last week’s fixture against New Zealand. It is crucial that Ireland take advantage of every turnover and opportunity which come their way, if they hope to beat Australia with an injured team.
Australia healthy and ready to go
While Ireland was busy with their brutal encounter with New Zealand last week, Australia was busy with a tight match of their own, against the ever unpredictable French team, who decided they wanted to play rugby last week. France did a fine job in testing the Wallabies but Australia ultimately won the match with 2-points!
The win definitely lifted the mood of the Australian squad, who came across positive and full of confidence during the week, in preparation for the Ireland vs Australia test. The key takeaway for Australia is that they lost no players to injury and they have a healthy squad to play Ireland, except for their 1st choice lock Adam Coleman, who has been ruled out, due to injury.
Keys to the game
What came out of the French game was that Australia is vulnerable at scrum time, in fact, Australia has struggled all year with their scrums. On the contrary Ireland has a formidable scrum, and definitely have the power to gain the upper hand come scrum time. Advantage Ireland
The breakdowns will be an interesting area of the game, we will go out on a limb and say, whichever team dominates the breakdown, will ultimately win the game. Australia has some formidable players to contest the breakdowns, with David Pocock and Michael Hooper. With that being said Ireland has their own answer to Hooper and Pocock in Sean O’Brien, who is currently out playing both of them. It should also be mentioned that collectively as a team Ireland contests the breakdowns very well and we will give the advantage to Ireland at the breakdowns.
Ireland has a formidable defence, who has managed to keep the best attacking team in the world in check for 2-games, Ireland limited New Zealand to 3-tries in both of their matches. While keeping them under 30-points for both matches. The latter may not sound all that impressive, however teams rarely do that against New Zealand. Ireland has proofed they are currently one of the best defensive teams in World Rugby and Australia will have a tough time cracking this Irish defence.
Who Will Win It
This is a tough one to call, since Ireland is injury depleted in the backline. With that being said the experienced, Paddy Jackson, will step in for Johnny Sexton. While Jackson is certainly not of the same calibre as Sexton he is still a fine flyhalf, and makes a good combo with another Irish star player, scrum half Conor Murray.
Many will disagree but we rate the half back pairing of Murray and Jackson superior to Australia’s halfback combo in Genia and Foley.
Looking at the Irish team, their replacements look more than capable of slotting into the team, and ironically might inject some “freshness” into the Irish team, after their physical encounter last week.
With that being said Australia has a number of playmakers across the field, we all know what Folau can do, Foley can be brilliant on his day, and then there is the potent combo of Pockock and Hooper.
The match will ultimately come down to this:
If Ireland can dominate the breakdowns, and set pieces, nullifying Pockock and Hooper, while keeping Folau in check and forcing Genia & Foley to play from the backfoot, Ireland will win. If they can not do it then it is game set match Australia.
Do we reckon Ireland can do the above, even with an injury depleted team? Absolutely, yes!
Australia vs Ireland Betting Preview & Prediction
There is money to be made on this one folks. The Bookmakers are undecided and narrowly gave Ireland the edge as home favourite. The handicap for Ireland vs Australia is set at a scratch.
Why we believe Ireland will win
We believe Ireland is a superior team to Australia, even with their injury problems. Ireland will be full of confidence coming off their New Zealand matches, and the Irish players slotting in for the injured backline players might just provide some much needed fresh legs for Ireland. Ireland will dominate the scrums and breakdowns, and their defence is more than capable of containing the Australian backline.
Ireland vs Australia Recommended Bet
Pick Ireland to win at odds of @1.85
Ireland 21 Australia 15
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