An unexpectedly dominant Australia display saw off South Africa at the weekend with slightly more ease than the 25-17 scoreline suggested. Noah Lolesio has struggled to hold down the no. 10 jersey for the Wallabies, but he put in a more than accomplished display last time out and fans will be hoping that gives him the confidence he needs to be their five-eighth going forward.
Despite the Springboks going in as favourites last time out, their poor record down under came back to haunt them as they’ve now gone seven outings without a win away in Australia, and it doesn’t bode well for them heading into this, with a number of injuries further hindering their chances.
Coach Jacques Nienaber has made six changes to the side that lost last weekend, a number of which have been forced through injuries to the likes of Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, and Pieter-Steph du Toit. Jaden Hendrikse comes in at half-back for Faf de Klerk to form a debut partnership Damien Willemse, who moves inside to 10 in what is a risky move for the visitors.
Unsurprisingly, Dave Rennie has gone with an unchanged side here as he looks to build some momentum into the final games of this year’s tournament and beyond. It’s the first time the Wallabies have named an unchanged side since early 2018 against Ireland, some 47 tests ago.
Australia +5.5 Handicap
The Boks have now lost four of their last six away outings, with the victories coming against slightly weaker Scotland and Wales sides at the end of last year, while three of those defeats have come at the hands of Australia themselves.
While the hosts were impressive last time out, the next step is show they can repeat those kind of performances on a consistent basis. Indeed, They’ve not won back-to-back outings since beating Argentina and Japan at the end of last year, while since then they hold a poor W3-L6 record.
Neither side are firing on all cylinders at the moment, with the visitors also holding a relatively poor W6-L7 record over the past year or so, though we can see why the hosts are slight favourites given their superior record against the Boks at home, while the visitors are nursing a couple of key injuries.
While the bookies can barely call this, the value has to be with the hosts who’s handicap line even sits at +5.5 with some, a line they’ve now covered in 13 of their last 15 home outings, and a line we’ll get behind them to cover again here against a weakened side.
AUSTRALIA +5.5 HANDICAP
Wallabies v Springboks Teams
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