Wales vs Wallabies preview and prediction

Charlie Lawry Roar Guru

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    The Wallabies are in Cardiff to renew hostilities with Wales in the wee small hours of Sunday morning.

    A comfortable win in Japan got the Aussies’ spring tour off to a positive start, but they’ll need to be wary of a hungry Welsh team this week. It will be Wales’ first Test match since June when they squeaked past Samoa, albeit without their Lions stars.

    For the Wallabies, some of the usual suspects are back. Genia and Foley resume their partnership, pushing the impressive Reece Hodge to the wing. Karmichael Hunt has recovered from a neck complaint, but only makes the bench. The forward pack is unchanged from Yokohama.

    The home side are forced into a few changes. Flanker Justin Tipuric and scrum-half Rhys Webb have failed to recover from their injuries. Josh Navidi and Gareth Davies are their respective replacements. They’re also missing the big names of George North and Sam Warburton.

    The interesting selection is Owen Williams at inside centre for his first start. He’ll function as a second playmaker alongside Dan Biggar. Meanwhile, the Welsh bench is light on experience, featuring three uncapped players.

    1. Scott Sio 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau 3. Sekope Kepu 4. Rob Simmons 5. Adam Coleman 6. Ned Hanigan 7. Michael Hooper 8. Sean McMahon 9. Will Genia 10. Bernard Foley 11. Reece Hodge 12. Samu Kerevi 13. Tevita Kuridrani 14. Marika Koroibete 15. Kurtley Beale

    Subs: Stephen Moore, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Matt Philip, Ben McCalman, Nick Phipps, Karmichael Hunt, Henry Speight

    1. Rob Evans 2. Ken Owens 3. Tomas Francis 4. Jake Ball 5. Alun Wyn Jones 6. Aaron Shingler 7. Josh Navidi 8. Toby Faletau 9. Gareth Davies 10. Dan Biggar 11. Steff Evans 12. Owen Williams 13. Jonathan Davies 14. Liam Williams 15. Leigh Halfpenny

    Subs: Kristian Dacey, Nicky Smith, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, Sam Cross, Aled Davies, Owen Watkin, Hallam Amos

    The Wallabies have won 12 on the trot against Wales, during an era of relative strength for the Welsh. Australia are definitely their bogey team (the All Blacks’ 28-game streak against Wales doesn’t count ‒ they’re just a very good team).

    Wales finished a disappointing fifth in this year’s Six Nations, but that doesn’t tell the full story. They beat Ireland and suffered narrow losses to both England and France. Despite the personnel changes, Wales still boast class in the form of Alun Wyn Jones, Toby Faletau, Jonathan Davies and Leigh Halfpenny.

    It should be an intriguing battle. Recent encounters with the Welsh have centred around nullifying the hulking threats of North, Davies and Jamie Roberts. The selection of a playmaker at 12 will be a useful test for the defensive communication of Kerevi and Kuridrani.

    The set piece will be a focal point for the home side and the Wallabies’ scrum must hold its own to get the job done. Halfpenny’s boot is always a weapon if our front row starts to creak. But I think Australia will edge this one.

    Wallabies by 6.

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    The Crowd Says (35)

    • November 11th 2017 @ 6:14am
      Atlas Ryan said | November 11th 2017 @ 6:14am | ! Report

      Owen Williams will make his first Wales start at centre and Josh Navidi plays at open-side when they host Australia in Cardiff on Saturday.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 5:05am
        Atlas Ryan said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:05am | ! Report

        Follow Wales’ clash with Australia from the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Rugby Union: Australia play Wales early on Sunday morning at Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales as the Wallabies continue their Spring Tour.

        Watch Free:

        Watch Free:

    • November 11th 2017 @ 6:23am
      mzilikazi said | November 11th 2017 @ 6:23am | ! Report

      I always fear Wales, especially in the Principality. That crowd singing the anthem at the start gives them a boost that only the “Haka” rivals in world rugby.

      We have, been pretty fortunate in a lot of the recent wins over Wales. Will they have the “rub of the green” this time.

      Australia are on a rising plane, and will be disappointed if a win does not ensue, Your 6 point win is a fair prediction, Charlie.

      Let us hope for a great game from two of the teams in world rugby that are traditionally capable of brilliant running rugby.

      • November 11th 2017 @ 7:14am
        Fionn said | November 11th 2017 @ 7:14am | ! Report

        Agree, mate.

        As it is I am hoping that with both Kerevi and TK in the midfield Foley finally starts using dummy runners and cut out pass consistently, especially off of attacking line outs and scrums.

        I’m nervous about how we are going to go at the breakdown also, so I really hope this is an area that the team puts particular emphasis on. I suspect that we will be fine in the line out and scrum. Even if we don’t ‘dominate’ the scrum I can see us holding parity.

        • November 11th 2017 @ 9:11am
          Jameswm said | November 11th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          I think if the set piece and breakdown hold we could win well. Having a Kiwi ref should help at the breakdown.

          • November 11th 2017 @ 11:55am
            Blinky Bill of Bellingen said | November 11th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

            How would a NZ Ref help at the breakdown? Do they interpret the laws differently or is their feel for the game different?

      • November 11th 2017 @ 7:33am
        Worlds Biggest said | November 11th 2017 @ 7:33am | ! Report

        What you said mate !!

      • November 11th 2017 @ 10:19pm
        Londoner said | November 11th 2017 @ 10:19pm | ! Report

        As a Englishman I feel Oz have little to fear from Wales, and I cant see how the Hymns rival the Haka in any way shape or form. Its not on the same level.

        WBs by 5 points .

    • November 11th 2017 @ 6:58am
      Spot on Prediction said | November 11th 2017 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      I agree with 6 being the winning margin for the Wallabies.

      Our forwards will get bullied around at the breakdown in the first half until McCalman comes on and throws his size around.

      Hodge to seal the deal with two crucial penalty goals

      23-17 Wallabies

      • November 11th 2017 @ 9:43am
        PM said | November 11th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        Have not seen McMahon getting bullied around of late. Must have been watching different test matches.

        • November 11th 2017 @ 2:14pm
          Dave_S said | November 11th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

          McCalman subbing for Hanigan is just as likely as subbing for McMahon. THAT is likely to have a substantial difference.

          • November 11th 2017 @ 5:22pm
            PiratesRugby said | November 11th 2017 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

            McCalman should start at 6 with Timani coming off the bench. Alas.
            Wales has too many big players out and too many new faces to trouble Australia. Our backrow weakness probably won’t be capitalised upon by the Welsh. Our backs will annihilate them, even with Foley at 10. It could be Australia by 6 or 60.

            • November 11th 2017 @ 6:07pm
              Fionn said | November 11th 2017 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

              Let’s hope so, Pirates.

              Unfortunately, if you’re right it will probably mean that Hanigan is maintained over McCalman for the England match, because why would you change a winning strategy??

            • November 11th 2017 @ 10:50pm
              DaveR said | November 11th 2017 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

              Spot on Pirates. Toby Faletau at 8 for Wales is bigger that any of our back row, and he is likely to make good yards in the set plays. If I was more confident with McCalman’s match fitness I would start him at 8 with Hooper and McMahon on the sides.

      • November 11th 2017 @ 5:54pm
        Reverse Wheel said | November 11th 2017 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

        Chock full of roar cliches.

        • November 11th 2017 @ 9:36pm
          advrider-oz said | November 11th 2017 @ 9:36pm | ! Report


    • Roar Rookie

      November 11th 2017 @ 7:33am
      Joe said | November 11th 2017 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      Really looking forward to seeing how that midfield combo goes. Just hope Foley lets the ball go and uses them well. With speed on the outside in Koroibete and Beale chiming in from the back that looks like a very good attacking backline. I think the Wallabies should win comfortably by between 10 and 20 points.

    • November 11th 2017 @ 8:04am
      Cynical Play said | November 11th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      Working in the WBs favour is that Oz have had time together and been working hard for months. Wales should be sluggish and rusty.

      “Weeks upon weeks of training – related to both skills and fitness – in July and August before the Rugby Championship slowly but surely helped the Wallabies find their groove. As the year went on, the juxtaposition between the fragmented, disorganised team that took the field in Sydney against Scotland to the one that beat the All Blacks in Brisbane was profound. The Wallabies arrive in Britain having not lost a match since late August, against New Zealand in Dunedin.
      By comparison, Wales haven’t played a Test in 4½ months. In the previous eight months they’ve participated in just two” (Tom D, SMH)

      Surely this should see the WBs hit the ground running and mount a score earlier. Wales at home are always a threat, but if the WBs turn up mentally and play as they’ve been playing, they’ll win. A refreshed Foley and Genia, a reinvigorated Kerevi, a potent attacking backline which I think has at least 3 tries in it, and 2 barnstorming wingers should gets the chocolates.

      • Roar Guru

        November 11th 2017 @ 8:48am
        Machooka said | November 11th 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

        Agree Cynical… da Wallaby should be battled hardened for this important clash. And it’s this, and only this, that should get us the edge over a reasonably solid Welsh side.

        C’arn da Wallaby… 13 is unlucky for some, but lucky for others!

        • November 11th 2017 @ 9:37am
          Ruckin Oaf said | November 11th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          The opposed training with the English squad might help Wales out but probably not enough.

    • November 11th 2017 @ 8:13am
      Galatzo said | November 11th 2017 @ 8:13am | ! Report

      Some of the Welsh scribes feel that their backs can’t magically start playing the dynamic running game. But it would appear that Gats feels they can, hence the dropping of the crashball tactic and the selection of Owen Williams who’s a twinkletoes. He can also kick them over from 55 m out so we might see a tee duel between Williams and Hodge.

      One big question is how will the two Ks go in the midfield now that they’re up against a tier one team.

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