Wallabies could become the worst prepared team ever to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy
Australia’s win over England last weekend broke the hearts of a nation but ignited the fire in another. As much as the hosts were poor, it was another dominant display by the Wallabies as they laid down a marker to the world.
The men from Down Under are now 3/1 with Sky Bet to win a third Rugby World Cup crown and their threat is now finally being taken seriously.
Their transformation in just over a year has been incredible. Michael Cheika came in to replace Ewen McKenzie, after the coach quit following a debacle involving Kurtley Beale, and has flourished. At that point, people were writing off the Aussies as no hopers at this tournament, surely it would take years for them to rebuild and stand any chance of beating the best teams out there?
However, the work of Cheika has somehow turned them into a well-oiled machine that now look a match for anyone. When you take into consideration the amount of preparation England have put into this campaign, his achievements in just over 12 months are staggering.
Australia were buoyed by victories over both South Africa and New Zealand in the Rugby Championship this season prior to this competition, and they now know they can beat any of the sides they may face.
In David Pocock they have one of the game’s leading flankers, Israel Folau is the best full back in the world, while Bernard Foley showed that he can be the fly half to lead the southern hemisphere outfit to glory, after registering 28 of their 33 points against the English at Twickenham.
The first issue will be topping Pool A (an odds-on bet with Ladbrokes at 4/9 to do so) in a bid to place themselves on the opposite side of the draw to the All Blacks, which could prove pivotal. They have beaten Wales in their previous 10 clashes and will be confident of getting the win they need to finish at the summit of the group.
Australian teams do tend to struggle for consistency, but if they continue this form and confidence stays high, then Cheika’s men could win the biggest competition possible despite the worst possible build-up.
BETTING TIP: Australia win Rugby World Cup @ 3/1 with Sky Bet