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Rugby Championship: Australia and South Africa repeat predicted

| 17.07.2015

Australia’s 21-17 loss away to Argentina in last year’s Rugby Championship pretty much put paid to Ewen McKenzie’s spell in the Wallabies hotseat, but whether the ex-prop’s successor Michael Cheika will do any better in the world’s most poorly-named tournament remains to be seen.

Cheika’s men posted the worst set of Australian autumn internationals series results for almost a decade during the former Leinster and Stade Francais coach’s first few months in charge, going down 27-16 in their final match to an England side that found both New Zealand and South Africa a bit too good.

They face the Springboks in Brisbane after squeaking past Heyneke Meyer’s men by a point when hosting in this competition last term, before going down 28-10 in Cape Town a few weeks later.

Australia welcome back 92-cap centre Matt Giteau after the Toulon ace’s four-year sabbatical from international rugby, while maverick number 10 Quade Cooper and jinking scrum-half Will Genia get the chance to carry their in-form partnership with club side the Reds onto the main stage.

However, fielding the unpredictable duo against Meyer’s murderous Springbok outfit is risky, and Cheika suffered a blow when Glasgow-bound winger Taqele Naiyaravoro, who has been compared to a young Jonah Lomu, opted to go ahead with his move to Scotland over joining up with the Wallabies.

Last September we tipped up a draw between this pair at 18/1, with little to split Australia and South Africa bar the hosts’ home advantage, leaving the outright-betting markets in a toss-up state at 4/6 and 5/4 respectively.

There’s hardly any change in the win-draw-win stakes 10-and-a-half-months on; Cheika’s crowd attract an 8/11 favourites’ quote, while Meyer’s men are available at 11/8.

With that in mind, the advice is the same. Back the draw at 18/1, and hedge with a side wager on Australia to win by 1-5 points at 15/4.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.