Australia v Wales Rugby World Cup Review
Two matches took place at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on Sunday afternoon but there was no doubting the main attraction. Georgia v Uruguay provided the appetiser in an early kick-off from Pool D and that was followed by a top of the bill tussle involving Australia and Wales.
The Aussies are one of the best teams in world rugby and were well respected by bookmakers when putting together their outright ante-post betting market before game one involving Japan and Russia. Wales went into the tournament as the recently crowned world number one ranked side and this match gave them an ideal opportunity to prove they fully deserved that place at the top of the tree.
The pre-match betting was competitive with bookmakers seemingly at a loss to predict who would come out on top. Would it be experience or form that would shine through on the day? The money men chose to offer their prices and sit back, allowing punters to make up their own minds on the team worth backing. There was no lack of markets available pre-match with punters able to get their cash on the match-winner or a number of interesting specials. These included first try scorer, handicap, winning margin, total points, first score and plenty more.
Australia Fall Short Despite Second-Half Fightback
The match was shown live on ITV on Sunday morning and viewers were hoping the play lived up to expectations and provided us with a thrilling spectacle. What we got was everything neutrals had hoped for and more. The final score showed Wales pulled off the win and the scoreboard gave an insight into just how exciting this match was. At the end of 80 minutes, the scores read Wales 29-25 Australia. The Dragons but the victory but they had to come through a second-half scare to get it.
Wales exploded out of the traps and rallied to record a stunning 23-8 lead at the interval. Pundits were falling over themselves to heap praise on the Brits and it was thought they would move through the gears during the second 40 and hand down a beating to Australia, the kind of result that would have sent out a message of intent to the rest of the pack. Wales had their noses in front and enjoyed a cushion, but they knew their opponents who fire back early and try to close the gap. The focus was on defending in the early exchanges of the second half.
Wales weren’t able to do that as Australia re-emerged like a different team, one desperate to get back into the game and make their opponents work for the victory. Australia did exactly that and put Wales under pressure from the first whistle. The victors scored just six points during the second 40 minutes compared to the 17 of their opponents. Oz came agonisingly close to pulling off a win that looked impossible at the break and they must be given credit for the way they never stopped believing in their ability to get back on top, despite facing an uphill struggle.
Wales Win Due to Accurate Kicking
Wales scored two tries during that 29-25 victory, registered by Parkes and Davies. Both were successfully converted by the boot of Parkes and Patchell. The latter played an important role in the victory when chipping in with three penalties, while he also nailed a drop goal, as did teammate Biggar. This wasn’t the all-action performance we have come to expect from Wales and they didn’t meet their opponents head-on in the middle of the park. Instead, they chose to rely on accurate kicking and possession play to deny their opponents who looked determined to get the ball in hand and run at Wales.
Australia scored three tries thanks to Ashleigh-Cooper, Haylett-Petty and Hooper. Two of those three were converted by Toomua and there were also penalties scored by Foley and Toomou. Winning manager Warren Gartland knew he couldn’t deny his men the chance to celebrate such an important victory over one of the best teams in world rugby, but he was keen to ensure they knew nothing has been achieved so far and the cup wasn’t won on Sunday. He told his men to enjoy the victory and then prepare to get back down to hard work as they aim to win the world cup. He knows the team can’t take anything for granted as opponents now want to beat the team that everyone is talking about. Australia will also be out for revenge later in the tournament.
Gartland Knows His Men Can’t Take Anyone for Granted
Speaking to the press at the conclusion of Sunday’s stunning win, Warren Gartland said the pool is now in their hands and Wales destiny is up to them. He was happy to remind followers Wales now have a break and said he’d like to see his men enjoy the brief rest by celebrating an emphatic win over Australia as they fully deserve to pat themselves on the back. Gartland made a statement by telling his players under the public gaze they can’t take any opponent for granted.
Wales are next in action on 9 October when lining up against Fiji in a match that will be shown live on ITV from 10.45. They are hot favourites in the betting to add another victory there, as you would expect, and sports bettors will be happy enough to trust them to cover the handicap. Wales round off their group campaign against Uruguay on 13 October, another they are expected to win without encountering too much drama along the way.
Followers of the updated World Cup outright betting will be interesting to learn Ladbrokes are offering a cracking 12/1 best price on Wales winning the title. That’s better than the 8/1 you’ll get with most other firms and is sure to catch the attention of a fair share of value hunters.