The following is a preview with betting tips for third and final Bledisloe Cup clash between the Wallabies and All Blacks. The game kicks off at 8:00 PM on Saturday the 18th of October. The venue is Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and the referee is Craig Joubert from South Africa.
With the All Blacks holding an unassailable 1-1-0 lead in the series, this Test is a dead-rubber. After so much positive energy at the start of the campaign following the Waratahs’ Super Rugby title, the mood surrounding the Wallabies camp at the moment is much more subdued. A bad performance this weekend would create an even sourer note for the team to head off to Europe on, so the Wallabies will be keen to use this fixture as a momentum changer. The All Blacks also will be looking for a positive result to build momentum again after their defeat to the Springboks in Johannesburg.
|15 – Fullback||Israel Folau||Israel Dagg|
|14 – Right Wing||Adam Ashley-Cooper||Cory Jane|
|13 – Outside Centre||Tevita Kuridrani||Conrad Smith|
|12 – Inside Centre||Christian Lealiifano||Malakai Fekitoa|
|11 – Left Wing||Joe Tomane||Julian Savea|
|10 – Fly-half||Bernard Foley||Beauden Barrett|
|9 – Scrum Half||Nick Phipps||Aaron Smith|
|8 – Number Eight||Scott Higginbotham||Kieran Read|
|7 – Openside Flanker||Michael Hooper (c)||Richie McCaw (c)|
|6 – Blindside Flanker||Scott Fardy||Liam Messam|
|5 – Right Lock||Rob Simmons||Sam Whitelock|
|4 – Left Lock||Sam Carter||Brodie Retallick|
|3 – Tighthead Prop||Sekope Kepu||Owen Franks|
|2 – Hooker||Saia Fainga’a||Dane Coles|
|1 – Loosehead Prop||James Slipper||Wyatt Crockett|
|16||Josh Mann-Rea||Keven Mealamu|
|17||Benn Robinson||Ben Franks|
|18||Ben Alexander||Charlie Faumuina|
|19||James Horwill||Patrick Tuipulotu|
|20||Matt Hodgson||Sam Cane|
|21||Nic White||TJ Perenara|
|22||Quade Cooper||Colin Slade|
|23||Rob Horne||Charles Piutau|
The Wallabies come into this fixture on the back of a 17-21 loss to Argentina in Mendoza. The Wallabies have received a lot of criticism for losing to the 12th (now 10th) ranked team in the world, however it should be noted that the Springboks were lucky to beat Los Pumas in Round 2. Only the All Blacks have seen off Argentina comfortably this season.
Virtually all of the news from the Wallabies camp leading up to this Test concerns the latest off-field issues with Kurtley Beale and Wallabies business manager, Di Patston. Rumours are circulating that coach Ewen McKenzie and Patston were romantically involved, which has further fueled the frenzy of media speculation. Apparently some players have quietly said they can’t wait for the season to be over, so it doesn’t sound like the Wallabies locker room is a happy place to be at the moment. In one piece of bright news, this weekend will be Adam Ashley-Cooper’s 100th Test appearance for Australia.
Ewen McKenzie has responded to the slump in form by dropping Kurtley Beale and Matt Toomua for this clash. Christian Leali’ifano will start at inside-centre for his first cap this year while Quade Cooper has recovered from a long-term shoulder injury and will start from the bench. Halfback Will Genia, who has trained with the squad for the last five weeks after ankle surgery, has again lost out to Nick Phipps and Nic White.
The All Blacks come into this fixture on the back of a 27–25 loss to South Africa in Johannesburg. There won’t be anyone across the ditch waving any panic bells, however, given the tough travel schedule leading up to that fixture and the fact that they were missing in my opinion one of the most underrated players on the team, lock Brodie Retallick.
The All Blacks have again left Aaron Cruden out of the squad this week, opting instead for Beauden Barrett at fly-half with Colin Slade on the bench. Another change in the backs sees Cory Jane return to the wing to replace the rested Ben Smith. In the forwards, loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett and lock Brodie Retallick have recovered from their respective injuries and return to the starting line-up after missing out against South Africa. Dane Coles has been rotated back into the squad to start at hooker with Keven Mealamu returning to the bench.
The All Blacks have won seven and drawn twice since the Wallabies last defeated them in a Bledisloe Cup dead-rubber in 2011. It’s worth noting that the last two occasions that the Wallabies defeated the All Blacks were both Bledisloe Cup dead-rubbers. You have to go back to 2008 for the last time the Wallabies defeated the All Blacks when the Bledisloe Cup was still up for grabs.
Below are the head-to-head results at Suncorp Stadium. The All Blacks have failed to win their last two Tests at this venue.
2012: Wallabies 18 – 18 All Blacks
2011: Wallabies 25 – 20 All Blacks
2008: Wallabies 24 – 28 All Blacks
2006: Wallabies 9 – 13 All Blacks
1996: Wallabies 25 – 32 All Blacks
At the time of writing the All Blacks are the clear favourite, with most bookmakers installing Australia as +7.5 to +8.5 underdogs. Click here to compare the latest bookmaker odds for the Wallabies vs. All Blacks.
The All Blacks losing to the Springboks two weeks ago is bad news for the Wallabies because the All Blacks are very good at bouncing back from disappointing performances. Just look to earlier this season when they beat Australia 51–20 one week after drawing 12-12. Had the All Blacks won that Test in Johannesburg it would have been a case of them having to find reasons to be motivated this weekend. Now, the All Blacks will have an edge about them because they will be looking to make amends for their last performance. I would back the All Blacks -3.5 at 1.54 (Sportingbet / Centrebet / Tom Waterhouse).
To the best of my knowledge the All Blacks have never beaten the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium by more than 7 points. I would back the All Blacks 1-12 at 2.63 (Sportsbet).
If you were dropped on your head as a baby
With the All Blacks and Wallabies having drawn their last two Tests on Australian soil, I can’t help but root for the hat-trick. I would back the draw at 29.00 (Sportingbet / Centrebet / Tom Waterhouse)