RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Sunday 26 September, 9pm
Another fixture and another huge ask for Uruguay again. The South Americans were quietly impressive against Wales and considering they played at the home of Welsh Rugby a 54-9 losing score line was perfectly respectable. Australia, meanwhile, got their campaign off to a winning start against Fiji but after scoring three tries in 43 minutes they will be slightly disappointed in not picking up a bonus point. With much more important fixtures down the line, Michael Cheika is likely to rotate his squad for this clash but with the likes of Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale set to be on show they will still be a deadly attacking force.
This is the first ever meeting between the two nations but the Wallabies have never been troubled by minnows at World Cups in the past. They have an average winning margin of 76 points in their last such against them but much of that is down to their 142-0 and 90-8 thrashings of Namibia and Romania at home in 2003. In the last two tournaments only one of the four victories was by a margin of more than 62 points and that came in 2007. They also took on a USA side ranked just three places higher than Uruguay in a warm up-game, fielding a mainly second sting side as we expect here, and only won 47-10.
Uruguay’s 45-point defeat at the Millennium Stadium last Sunday was an improvement on all three losses in 2003. It’s worth noting that only one of their last four defeats at a World Cup has been by more than 66 points and that was against eventual champions England.
So far this World Cup has reflected the improvement of the minnows. In the first eight matches involving a minnow, six have covered pre-match handicap, with two recording victories (Japan and Georgia). No nation has conceded more than 60 points yet which highlights that the gap is closing.
Lesser teams punching above their weight has certainly been a trend this tournament. We saw with New Zealand that making a lot of changes can disrupt the team’s rhythm slightly and once the bonus fourth try has been scored there can be a tendency to lose intensity. With this in mind we are favouring Uruguay on the handicap.
- Australia have an average winning margin of 76 points in their last six against minnows at World Cups
- This is the first meeting between the two sides
- Uruguay have lost four of their last five World Cup matches but only one was by more than 66 points.