Australia have landed a blow to New Zealand’s World Cup hopes whilst enhancing their own with victory in the Tri Nations on Saturday.
With just 12 days until the start of the World Cup, Australia did their chances no harm with the 25-20 victory in Brisbane, and Australia’s three tries will offer up hope to New Zealand’s rivals.
Having entered half-time with a 20-3 lead, Australia were blown away by New Zealand in the first 20 minutes of the second half as the All Blacks got the score back to 20-20 before a Kurtley Beale try swung the momentum back in Australia;s favour.
The win means Australia are the Tri Nations champions for the first time in 10 years, but the Australian management will be happier with the victory over their rivals with the World Cup just days away.
New Zealand are 4/7 to win the World Cup and on home soil, they are going to take all of the beating.
But Australia are now 4/1 to win the World Cup in the aftermath of their Tri Nations victory and that may get shorter as the World Cup gets closer.
Australia open their World Cup campaign with a tie against Italy and the bookies make them the 1/150 favourites to win.
The pool stage of the World Cup should allow Australia to take the form they’ve shown in the Tri Nations against the best teams in the world and enhance it.
The tie against Ireland will be the crucial match in deciding who tops Pool C, but the bookies make Australia the 1/5 favourites to top the group.
Should they finish top, Australia’s route to the final would likely mean ties against Wales and England or France, and at 1/1 to make the final, the Wallabies are offering plenty of value to reach the final.