Scotland vs Australia
|Scotland vs Australia
at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
|Best Bet: Australia – 4.5 ($1.90)
Value Bet: Koroibete to score Try & Australia WIN ($3.25)
Australia have travelled north to Scotland to attempt to avenge the shock loss they suffered to the Scots in Sydney earlier this year in what will be the last game of the calendar year for Micheal Cheika’s men.
Two massive reasons to get excited about the last Wallabies squad of 2017 – the return of Lukhan Tui and the debut of Taniela “Tongan Thor” Tupou. The two big Islanders will both start off the bench, but expect them to make a big impression when given the chance in front of a packed Murrayfield crowd. Stephen Moore has been given the nod to start in his 129th and last ever test match, 12 years since his test debut and exactly 11 years since his first test start, ironically against Scotland at Murrayfield. Otherwise it is an unchanged starting XV to the one which couldn’t get the job done last week at Twickenham.
Gregor Townsend has made four changes to the Scottish side that went oh so close last week against the All Blacks. In the forwards Grant Gilchrist will start at tight head prop, while Simon Bergman has got the nod to partner Johnny Gray in the second row with Ryan Wilson returning to anchor the scrum. New Zealand born Sean Maitland will return from injury and has been picked to start on the left wing in what is the only change to the backline.
Last time they met
June 17 2017 – Australia 19 – 24 Scotland.
Stat that Matters
Of the 31 test played between these nations Scotland have only ever won 10 test matches in their history over Australia, yet 3 of those have come in their last 6 matches played against the Wallabies including their last outing in Sydney.
Stuart Hogg vs Kurtley Beale
For anyone that didn’t catch the Scotland/All Blacks game last weekend head to YouTube and watch Stuart Hogg’s match highlights. This man was simply immense in what some pundits have called the finest performance in a Scotland jersey. It left the Wolf wondering what could have been had this man been fit for the Lions tour in June. Hogg is the complete fullback – quick feet when bringing the back into contact, hands of a surgeon and a thumping right boot. He will again be the focal point of the Scottish attack this Saturday. With Israel Folau on sabbatical, rugby fans will be robbed of a battle between the two best fullbacks in the world. Fortunately they have a next best thing with Kurtley Beale again selected to fill the custodian position for the men in gold. Although Beale endured a torrid night at Twickenham last week he will be desperate to bounce back at Murrayfield on Sunday morning (AEDT).
So far in November Scotland have a thumping over Samoa two weeks ago, before really pushing the All Blacks in Edinburgh last week to show for their troubles. Were it not for a last ditch Beauden Barrett tackle on a flying Stuart Hogg the people of North would still be celebrating their first ever win over the New Zealanders. Nonetheless, this Scottish side proved they were a rising force in international rugby and will be brimming with confidence coming into their final test before the six nations next year against a wounded Wallabies side. Doubts remain if Michael Cheika and his men can shake off the appalling referring decisions of last week which cost them a chance of upsetting Eddie Jones and England at home. It is all about refocusing as the Wallabies attempt to win their 8th game from 9 matches to end the calendar year and extract revenge for the shock loss at the hands of the Scots in June.
How it’s shaping
How 2017 will be remembered by Wallabies rugby fans all comes down to this game. The Wolf believes it has certainly been a year of significant improvement for the men in gold and there seems to be positive vibes around the current Wallabies squad. However, if they slip up to Scotland, for the second time this year no less, the knives will be out calling for mass changes heading into 2018. Scotland were extraordinary last week against the AB’s and as the Wallabies have found out in recent times they are by no means easy-beats. However, the Wolf is predicting that Stephen Moore’s swansong will be enough to lift Australia after last weeks disappointment and ensure an enjoyable flight back home for the Wallabies.
Wallabies by 7