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Nic Ladds 27th Nov 2009 - 20:03

Scotland and Wales face their final big tests

Another fantastic weekend of Autumn Internationals awaits us and here we have a preview of two of the big games featuring the home nations which are live on television to once again give you a real feast of rugby all Saturday afternoon.

Scotland v Argentina - 14:30 live on BBC Red Button

Regardless of what happens against Argentina, Scotland will be basking in the glory of their heroic (if somewhat fortunate) victory against Australia last week and odds of 2/5 say they can make it a series hat-trick and see off the 7/4 Pumas.

Before complacency sets in, Scotland will do well to remember they have beaten Argentina just once in 15 years and the handicap which sees them giving up six points at 10/11 looks about right.

Scotland make a couple of changes which look exactly the right thing to do with Ben Cairns coming in at centre (14/1 for first try), while Thom Evans (10/1) comes in for Simon Danielli on the wing.

Argentina are still under-strength with Felipe Contepomi and Juan Martin Hernandez still missing and the likes of Lucas Borges (12/1) and Gonzalo Tiesi (16/1) will need to be at their creative best to trouble what is a determined Scotland defensive line.

With bad weather a possible factor again, scores could be low and tries at a premium so punters may fancy a few quid on no try scorer at 14/1 but penalties could play a big part and the assured boot of Phil Godman could see Scotland safely home.

While their record against Argentina is terrible, the is not the same Pumas team that has terrorised the Scots in recent years and form counts for a lot and it could be argued none are in better form that Scotland and with a vocal Murrayfield crowd, they should cover the six point handicap, or for the more daring punter, a winning margin for the home side of 6-10 points at 9/2 looks the call as Scotland are fancied to round off a truly fantastic Autumn International schedule in style.

Wales v Australia - 17:15 live on BBC2

Australia have been torn to pieces in their home land by the press after their loss to Scotland last week but this is grossly unfair to a side who have had the toughest of fixtures all year and that has no doubt been built for future World Cup challenges, with young players finally starting to blossom.

The loss against Scotland was just one of those days where everything went wrong, no kicks went over, balls were dropped at crucial times and they will have to put it behind them to try and end the campaign on a high.

Wales meanwhile will be full of confidence having won their last two but they too have a lot of work to do and did the job well, but not brilliantly against Argentina and Samoa and this will provide a much sterner test with both side priced at odds of 10/11 with the handicap set at scratch.

Having previously been try-shy at home Wales managed three last time with Stephen Jones (25/1 to score the first try) and Shane Williams (10/1) the heroes, while James Hook (16/1) has been an absolute revelation since moving to full-back and could be a potent attacking threat.

Matt Giteau (16/1) had a shocker against Scotland to prove he is human and can make the same mistakes as every other player, and a lot could depend how he bounces back from this. Drew Mitchell (12/1) has looked very useful , while Adam Ashley - Cooper (14/1) constantly threatens with surging runs and is the pick for Australia to cause Wales some major problems.

Wales have been making far too many mistakes and have been giving away careless points and against the Wallabies these mistakes could be severely punished. Australia are going to be seriously up for this and in what looks desperately close, the are fancied to take what may well be an error-strewed game but not by much, a victory of 1-5 points either way is 9/2 and the away side are just fancied to edge it.

 
 
 

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