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A lot to learn for the Wallabies from this weekend's Six Nations action

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Expert
12th March, 2019
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This weekend’s final round of the Six Nations couldn’t have been better scripted – Wales at home to Ireland, England hosting Scotland.

After four rounds, Wales are unbeaten on 16 points, with no bonus points, from England (15 points, three bonus points) and Ireland (14, with two bonus points).

Four or more tries earn a bonus point, so too a loss by seven or fewer.

But there’s a big difference in the Six Nations, with an additional three bonus points available for any nation capturing the Grand Slam.

Only Wales can claim the three by downing Ireland, but if the men in green take the honours at the Principality Stadium, it will be on in earnest to be champions.

In the four rounds so far, England has the best tries for and against stat of 14-8, from Ireland 13-9, then Wales 9-6, and Scotland 5-12.

If those stats repeat at the weekend, Eddie Jones will chalk up a third championship for England in four years by hammering Scotland to finish on 20 points, from Ireland (19) and Wales (16).

Eddie Jones head coach of England

Eddie Jones, head coach of England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Michael Cheika, and his two new Wallabies co-selectors Scott Johnson and Michael O’Connor, will take a special interest in how Wales play as both are in Pool D at the World Cup.

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And Johnson, currently director of rugby with Scotland before he returns home to fill the same role with Rugby Australia, will have a bird’s eye view at Twickenham of how England is faring.

The World Cup Pools, and current world ranking:

There’s little doubt Ireland, New Zealand, and England will cruise to top pools A, B and C respectively, but Pool D will be critical to both Wales and Australia.

The Wallabies have completely dominated the Welsh of late, but Warren Gatland’s boys are a different proposition in 2019.

If the Aussies win the pool, they will meet France or the Pumas in the quarters, and Ireland in the semis.

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Finish second and it’s England in the quarters, and if successful against the odds – having lost all five matches to Jones since he took over – the All Blacks in the semis.

There’s no alternative, the Wallabies must win Pool D, or face an early exit.

Matt Toomua of the Wallabies

Matt Toomua of the Wallabies looks on. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Let’s see how these predictions pan out if the Wallabies finish second in their pool:

Quarter-finals
England vs Australia
New Zealand vs Scotland/Samoa
Wales vs France/Argentina
Ireland vs South Africa

Semis
England vs New Zealand
Wales vs Ireland

Final
New Zealand vs Ireland

If the Wallabies win the pool:

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Quarter finals
England vs Wales
New Zealand vs Scotland/Samoa
Australia vs France/Argentina
Ireland vs South Africa

Semis
England vs New Zealand
Australia vs Ireland

With the final to be a repeat of the 2015 decider.