Match Preview: Wallabies vs Wales - Green and Gold Rugby
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Match Preview: Wallabies vs Wales

Match Preview: Wallabies vs Wales

The last game for the Wallabies erratic 2013 season is lining up to be a cracker and neither teams are taking this test lightly.

Gatland alone   in Lions vs Force 2013If the Wallabies win this weekend against Wales, it will be the first time since 2008 they have won four matches in a row.

If they lose they will be the only Wallaby team to lose 9 games in a calendar year and they will return to 4th on the IRB rankings.

McKenzie has likened their 5 match Spring tour to the World Cup in two years time which will be hosted by England where they will play demanding games week in week out, including matches against England and Wales in the pool stage. He has urged his players to treat this weekend’s game as “a World Cup final”.

Australia have recalled Adam Ashley-Cooper and Nick Cummins after serving their one match suspension. Tatafu Polota-Nau and Ben Robinson are also recalled to the bench. Quade Cooper will earn his 50th test cap.

Head to Head

Wales have selected 10 British and Irish Lions to play this week despite the absence of Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts and Adams Jones. They are high on confidence after the Lions demolished the Wallabies 41-16 in the final test of the series yet Wales have failed to defeat the Wallabies in their last 8 encounters dating back to 2008.

Overall the two teams have played 36 times. Australia have won 25 times, Wales have won 10 times and there has been one draw.

Key Match-Ups

Richard Hibbard vs Stephen Moore

Richard Hibbard has had a lot to say this week. Hibbard likened the Lions comprehensive victory over Australia earlier this year to what needs to be done this weekend. He has called on his team to be ferocious and physical to such an extent that he would be willing to “crawl off” Millennium Stadium. Despite talking up his team’s chances, Hibbard has also been in good form with strong recent performances against South Africa and Argentina.

His opposite number is also in good form. In the last 3 matches Stephen Moore has been voted 2nd, 1st and 4th best player by the fans on G&GR. It should be a great battle up front.

israel folau backpack

Joe Tomane vs George North

George North was a handful when he came to Australia for the Lions tour and he has continued to be a handful over the last few weeks. His try against Argentina was brilliant. During the Lions Series we were entertained by the battle between North and folau but this time he comes up against Joe Tomane. Tomane was quiet last weekend against the Scots but has the potential to finish off some good tries.

Crystal Ball

The Welsh and the Aussies have got to know each other very well over the past few seasons. Despite the Wallabies recent dominance, all the matches have been tightly contested and has only been decided by a few points. The bookmakers have the Wallabies as favourites but Wales will be desperate for revenge after letting the game slip in the last minute in their last encounter at the end of last year.

Wales by 3.

The Teams

Wales

15. Leigh Halfpenny
14. Alex Cuthbert
13. Owen Williams
12. Scott Williams
11. George North
10. Dan Biggar
9. Mike Phillips
8. Toby Faletau
7. Sam Warburton (C)
6. Dan Lydiate
5. Ian Evans
4. Alun Wyn Jones
3. Rhodri Jones
2. Richard Hibbard
1. Gethin Jenkins.

Reserves:
16. Ken Owens
17. Ryan Bevington
18. Samson Lee
19. Ryan Jones
20. Justin Tipuric
21. Rhodri Williams
22. Rhys Priestland
23. Liam Williams.

Australia

15. Israel Folau
14. Joe Tomane
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
12. Christian Leali’lifano
11. Nick Cummins
10. Quade Cooper
9. Will Genia
8. Ben Mowen (C)
7. Michael Hooper
6. Scott Fardy
5. James Horwill
4. Rob Simmons
3. Sekope Kepu
2. Stephen Moore
1. James Slipper.

Reserves:
16. Tatafu Polota-Nau
17. Benn Robinson
18. Ben Alexander
19. Kane Douglas
20. Dave Dennis
21. Nic White
22. Mike Harris
23. Bernard Foley

  • Patrick

    Come on, be objective, Australia by 20!

  • jay-c

    beating Australia is “what we should expect” according to welsh captain warburton
    they have been successful ONCE in the last TWELVE attempts
    the nerve-
    its this kind of crap we hear every time we play them that puts wales right at the top of my most hated teams
    its disrespectful and I hope we hammer them so they learn some respect

    • ooaahh

      I think you’d be pretty lonely in that club. Wales and the Welsh are good sports. Far from hated. Still, wallabies by 12.

      • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

        Well said ooaahh. They’re not hated at all. Misunderstood maybe, but then that more than likely comes down to their colourful accent.

        I like and admire the Welsh players & fans. Got to love all that singing to create atmosphere. I’m sure our boys will enjoy it too.

        Actually I’m expecting this to be yet another close one, and just hoping that once again we’re on the right side of the ledger.

      • jay-c

        let me set the record straight
        i love the welsh people, have many welsh friends after living in the uk for a few years> what i hate is the constant bad mouthing of OUR team by their players despite the fact we have beaten them so many times recently. it happens before every test!

      • Old weary

        Absolutely agree. Any team should expect to win, otherwise why turn up? Link said the same thing before tour.

        Warburton has proven himself to be a great captain of a side/ nation of true rugby followers. Have a beer in Cardiff after a game, and you will find the Welsh, for the most part, true lovers of the game and discussing all players and the game, rather than just yelling how the scrum was so soft.

        Let’s not build up some hatred for a team/ nation base on a some sound bite media beat up. There are plenty of other worthy teams that warrant that…

    • Gottsy

      Do you really want the welsh captain to come out and say “we don’t expect to beat Australia”? If we were playing the all blacks and Ben mowen said that he expects us to lose it would be

      • jay-c

        its more the fact that they named us as a team they should expect to beat, they imply stuff like this before every test we play and i think its bang out of order considering we have been so dominant
        to put it in perspective> i think england could justify a comment like this (as much as id hate it) but not wales>
        if mowen said the abs were a team we should expect to beat i imagine the ab fans would be similarly insulted

        • Tahs

          Fair comment. The Wallabies are shit. The record says so.

    • Bill

      “but we were just being friendly before”- Gatland. I find that a bizarre, amusing and offensive statement but I don’t see the the welsh or their team in that light. Clearly Gatland has sensed the idiocy vacuum left by the departure of Pete de Villiers and is attempting to fill it like some sort of mad juggalo pufferfish..with a bung fin. If they were just friendlies we didn’t get the memo Warren. Idon’t see Hibberd or Warburton as being disrespectful with their chatter at all. Ithink you’re over reading it a bit j-c.

      • jay-c

        if it were in isolation id agree with you mate> but i assure you its a theme ive picked up every time we play them (the last 5 years in mind) >> do some research into it mate you’ll see comments implying we are the weakest s/h team etc from their players before every game (or dont cause then you’ll hate em too)

        • Bill

          I’ve seen the comments JC, I just don’t see what you see in them. All I see are professional players setting realistic goals for themselves and as for considering us the weaker sister of the tri nations, hardly earth shattering stuff. They just haven’t been able to get past that goal to presumably the next one of knocking off SA, or the AB’s then RWC.
          As for hateing Welsh teams they’d have to really misbehave to lose the merit they gained in my eyes vs Samoa in 99 and 91. 99 especially they could have been forewarned and rolled out the 10man rugby rubbish, instead they chose to play. They got done but they didn’t shirk the challenge, so all this fluff you’re fixating on, it doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Its just window dressing.

  • Greg

    What happened to Sita Timani? Is he injured? Seems an odd move.

    • Bubba

      He does nothing so very well and he’s off to Clermont now anyways. Never has such a large human being done so little for so many so often.

      • Jim

        He is one of the only current forwards who actually drives people back when he hits them. He was playing ok as a reserve. It’s funny how so many people are only looking for flashy stuff from the forwards and don’t rate any of the other guys. I’d much prefer someone who stands his ground when things get a bit tough. Granted his ball carrying isn’t up to the standard it should be but the rest of his game is fine.

        • Gottsy

          I’ve really enjoyed watching Ben mccalman drive blokes off rucks this tour too

        • Stu

          One good hit per game makes him expensive.

  • Wales by 3? Wow, I know Wales are a great team, but I can’t see them getting up against a very motivated and momentum-driven Australian team. One loss on tour is all they’ll have room for and they’ve had that.

  • Brendan Hume

    Aussie bench might get them over the line. Adam Jones is a big loss for this Welsh team, as are the centres Davies and Roberts.

  • Robson

    The Wallabies are ending their season and they will not want to drop their last game, so you would have to rate the Wallabies as having the “motivational edge”. All the same I hope they “play to win” and not “play to avoid losing”.

  • Bill

    Well at least Wales will try and play some rugby. For mine this was always going to be the hardest of the tests. Just have to see who’s better on the day. It would be an unusual amount of chatter from both coaches pregame except Gatland’s involved, I hope the lads haven’t forgotten his mealy mouthed attempt to get Horwill rubbed out of the Lion’s tour. I’m aware a lot of people think Horwill was at fault there but I don’t share that view. You’d have to say Gatland’s done a great job with Wales but some of his gamesmanship just seems ..extraneous.

  • RugbyStu

    Re-watched the third lions game highlights and I am most concerned about the back line defense as the back-lines are quite similar this weekend without Toomua and Kuridrani.

    I hope they show that they have improved because the back-line defense was hurrendous when it was leals, cooper, tomane. Please muslce up and don’t leak like a sieve boys.

    • Klaus

      Tomane was terrible in that lions game and I don’t think he is much better in D at the moment. Lilo and AAC need to make sure they are shoulder to shoulder with no shooters. I think they will target Tomane hard tonight with running and kicking, there are points to be made there.

      • Bill

        I agree to an extent. I don’t think Tomane’s defence has improved all that much, but what has is our scramble and inital line defence. Unfortunately that has had a disruption in continuity of players so the guys are going to have to be mindful of that. If Tomane’s kick chase or positional play are poor the option is there to bring Harris to OC and shift AAC to wing. Ideally Tomane is good though. But he is probably our most glaring weakness until he shows different.

        • RugbyStu

          Yeah I have been pretty surprised by the defensively fragility of the league converts, in a game that sometimes derides union defence. both Folau and tomane have had their issues (Folau though has come along in leaps and bounds as he has warmed to the game)

  • Bobas

    Looking forward to seeing Israel Folau cut Leigh Halfpenis down to size.

    • Dave

      Quarterpenis?

  • wowjiffylube

    Really looking forward to the Halfpenny/Folau battle. Should be a cracker, two best fullbacks in the world at the moment, two contrasting styles of play. Folau’s aerial prowess and sheer unstoppability versus Halfpenny’s tactical nous, positional excellence and “pick-your-moment” strike running. S’gonna be good.

    • WaikatoKid

      As an all round player I reckon Dagg beats them both.

      • wowjiffylube

        When he’s in his best form I agree. He’s looked a little off pace this tour though. Still lethal no doubt, but not as good as he can be.

      • Klaus

        Yeh he was awesome against Ireland……

      • The Slow Eater

        Based on the last year of performance Dagg would be hard pressed to beat. I love watching Folau but he’s still a newcomer.

      • Bill

        I’m a big fan of Dagg but if I was selecting a world XV Folau would be moving him to the wing. I generally prefer guys like Dagg but Folau is just too good at the moment.

  • Parker
  • markjohnconley

    Wales by 10; clear dominance the 7,8,11,14, and 15; and the psyche edge; $2.02 sounds good value

    • ALEC ROCKS

      WRONG!!

  • Garry

    If anyone caught the Wales v Boks game, you’ll know the WB’s will have their work cut out for themselves. Go you good thing(s).

  • Geraint

    Mate, don’t take it to heart. We Welsh always view ourselves as the plucky underdog giving it a go but thinking you lot are better. Gatland is trying to change the players mentalities with this one. Doesn’t mean we don’t think you’re better (far from it) but we need to try to stop going into these games expecting a loss and crossing our fingers.

    Gonna be an awesome advert for rugby today, whichever team wins.

  • Bill

    Haha get ripped Wales! 20 mns of hometown decisions in the final 20 at the breakdown and you still didn’t get it done. 9 in a row! Maybe you guys should form a fellowship of the ring and get Hibbard to play Borimir!

    • Stu

      Now now. No need to rub their noses in it. They played well and it was an excellent game. They’ll be great in the 6N.

  • ALEC ROCKS

    I wonder What BOB DWYER will find wrong with QUADES man of the match performance this week :)

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@Hughadams01

Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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