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Teenager Jordan Petaia has starred on debut for the ill-disciplined Wallabies, who came alive in the second half to dispatch Uruguay 45-10 at the Rugby World Cup.
It’s crunch time for Uruguay in this Pool D Rugby World Cup clash, but the focus will be on Australia, who have to get their act together ahead of the quarter-finals, which are just a fortnight away. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 3:15pm (AEST).
Should Uruguay lose, and not pick up any kind of bonus point, they won’t advance to the quarters. Even should they pick up a bonus point, Australia can end Los Teros’ campaign by claiming a bonus point themselves.
The Wallabies have already played their toughest pool game, and lost it, to Wales. They find themselves in third place within their group, needing to improve that position to make the quarters with two games to play, where they’ll play Georgia and Uruguay. They trail Fiji, who have just one match remaining, a fixture against Wales, which they’re likely to lose.
Australia failed to find the mark in their opening game, struggling to cope with what the Fijians threw at them, before pulling away in the second half. Some argued they were the better team against Wales, but lost the arm wrestle.
However, Cheika chose to make a number of team changes. Nic White and Christian Lealiifano step back into the halves positions, in a massive plus. Jordan Petaia will make his debut, on the left wing.
Michael Hooper has surprisingly not been rested, for what will be Australia’s easiest game this tournament.
Uruguay also field a very young side, with Agustin Ormachea taking on White at halfback. He’s just one of nine changes, notably Andres Vilaseca takes over the captaincy, as Federico Favaro slides into the right wing.
It’s almost impossible to tip Uruguay, who have never beaten a tier-one opponent. Despite the Wallabies’ struggles, you’d expect them to get the job done. Uruguay may still be on a high from their upset win against Fiji, which could work against them.
Australia by 20.
Make sure to join The Roar for the live blog from 3:15pm (AEST).
Time: 3:15pm (AEST)
Venue: Oita Stadium
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Odds: Australia $1.001, Uruguay $126
Kurtley Beale, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt To’omua, Jordan Petaia, Christian Lealiifano, Nic White, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Adam Coleman, Rob Simmons, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper.
Replacements: Jordan Uelese, Sekope Kepu, Taniela Tupou, Rory Arnold, David Pocock, Will Genia, James O’Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Rodrigo Silva, Federico Favaro, Tomas Inciarte, Andres Vilaseca, Nicolas Freitas, Felipe Berchesi, Agustin Ormaechea, Manuel Diana, Juan Ormaechea, Manuel Ardao, Manuel Leindekar, Franco Lamanna, Diego Arbelo, German Kessler, Juan Echeverria
Replacements: Guillermo Pujadas, Joaquin Jaunsolo, Juan Pedro Rombys, Ignacio Dotti, Juan Manuel Gaminara, Santiago Arata, Felipe Etcheverry, Agustin Della Corte.