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Nic Ladds 28th Nov 2008 - 16:51

Jump on Wales to tear into Wallabies

Australia will face a fired up Wales side in Cardiff who have much more than just pride to play for in the final Autumn Test.

Should Wales win by more than 15 points and England lose to New Zealand then they would become the fourth seeds in the draw for the World Cup therefore avoiding New Zealand, South Africa and Australia in the group stages.

This will be no easy achievement however with Australia looking for their first European clean sweep since 1996 having already defeated some stern opposition in the shape of England, France and Italy.

Wales should pose the Wallabies a sterner test than any of the other nations they have played having only just been beaten by South Africa and a late collapse resulted in defeat against New Zealand having taken in a half time lead.

Australian fly-half Matt Giteau has acknowledged improving Wales' class and says Australia will not be taking them lightly.

A Wales victory is certainly a possibility and the 13/10 about an outright victory will appeal to some with Australia at 4/7 and 10/11 is available about Wales with a four point head start.

Australia's weakness used to be their forwards but they have improved and now look a lot more solid however this is an area that Wales would expect to have the upper hand.

The key to the Australia back line is Stirling Mortlock. The towering centre is 14/1 to score the first try and has the ability to fire up the whole Aussie team and he often seems to dictate just how they play. With Mortlock firing on all cylinders the Wales back line will have a task on their hands to contain the Wallabies.

Shane Williams, 10/1 to score the first try is brilliant on his day but is not playing to his usual high standards and could hold the key to a Welsh victory. If the winger can play to his best form he will pose Australia some real problems and in turn get the whole Welsh team playing with more confidence.

At double the odds fly-half Stephen Jones is 20/1 to score the first try and is the other key man for Wales. He to has not been playing as well as he is able but will be desperate to prove himself while James Hook is still injured and a try will boost his confidence no end.

Wales' main problem however has been not scoring enough tries which they made look so easy when winning the Grand Slam in last year's Six Nations tournament.

Welsh captain and number eight Ryan Jones is 33/1 to go over first and if the Welsh pack can dominate he could be the value choice to set the ball rolling for Wales.

For Australia, Mortlock is always a threat and fly-half Matt Giteau scores his fair share and is priced up at a tempting 20/1 to get the Aussies going with the first try.

This match looks desperately close and it is tough to call a result either way. At the prices Wales on the outright betting at 13/10 may just edge it due to the possibility of being in the top four seeds for the World Cup draw and Australia possibly having one eye on their clash with the Barbarians next week.

Wales were absolutely rampant in the first half against New Zealand taking a lead in at half-time and if they come out in the same manner then the best bet may be Wales to be leading at half-time at 5/4 with Matt Giteau to score anytime at 4/1 also tempting.

This should be a fantastic game between two very evenly matched sides. Wales have everything to play for and we could well see the first victory for a northern hemisphere side against one of the Tri-Nations outfits this autumn.

Wales to be leading at half-time - 5/4
Matt Giteau to score a try at anytime - 4/1


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