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It’s been a mixed bag for Australia so far this tour. They edged out Scotland 16-15, which is a big result at Murrayfield, although they did ride their luck a bit and were fortunate Blair Kinghorn didn’t nudge over a penalty to win it at the death. They were improved against France, though fell agonisingly short after Damian Penaud went over late on to send the Stade de France into raptures.
Las week, though, was a low point of Australia Rugby as they lost 28-27 to Italy, their first ever defeat to Gli Azzurri and they must now dust themselves off and end the tour on a high with matches against the number one ranked side in the World and a tricky Wales outfit that they’ll face in the groups of next year’s World Cup.
It’s hard to see who’s going to stop Ireland at the moment. They came from behind to win their Series in New Zealand in the summer 2-1, while they overcame World Champions South Africa a couple of weeks ago too to really stamp their authority on World Rugby. A convincing win at home to Fiji last week was expected, and they’ll be fully expecting yet another win here against an out of sorts visiting Wallabies side who have now lost 11 of their last 15 matches, including four of their last five.
Australia +13.5 Handicap
Ireland have also won four of the last five head-to-heads with Australia, the biggest margin of victory though came by just five points, leaving the 13.5 point handicap line in question. Coach of the Year Andy Farrell’s men have now won 11 on the bounce on home soil going back to a narrow 15-13 defeat to France in the 2021 Six Nations, and have also won 20 of their last 21 home games going back to before the World Cup.
Australia have flattered to deceive, showing glimpses of promise but ultimately falling short of expectation. All of their games have come down to fine margins regardless of level of opposition it seems, and we’d certainly expect a response from Dave Rennie’s men. Only twice in 37 matches have Ireland beaten Australia by more than 13.5 points, with both of those games seeing them take 15-point victories, and while the gulf in class is evident at this point in time, the handicap seems too long and seems too much effected by results last weekend, avoiding the bigger picture.
AUSTRALIA +13.5 HANDICAP
Ireland v Australia Teams
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