Rugby World Cup 2015: England to keep the dream alive against Australia

 
Graham Reid
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Tom Wood is key to England winning the breakdown battle (Source: Getty)
England move from one old foe to another when they take on Australia tomorrow night in a make-or-break Rugby World Cup encounter.
A sole host nation has never been eliminated at the group stage but, in the strongest pool, England are struggling to keep their heads above water following the bizarre defeat to Wales.
Just like last week, a case can be made for both the Red Rose and the Wallabies to emerge as victors.
Australia have form – to a point. They are the only team to topple New Zealand this year, but were then routed by the same side a week later.
In this tournament, they have looked impressive in phases. Yet, they missed a bonus-point try against Fiji, something England achieved against the Pacific Islanders.
England edge the recent head-to-heads, with four victories from the last five meetings. They haven’t become a terrible side overnight and the power of home advantage can give them a crucial boost.
It’s almost too close to call, but England hold demons for many of this Australia outfit, and the advice is to buy the host’s supremacy at 4 with Sporting Index.
The breakdown will be a key area, as Aussie poachers Michael Hooper and David Pocock do battle with England’s dark arts magician Tom Wood. The latter is lucky to be present after dodging a citing.
At Number 8, Ben Morgan needs to prove he is fully fit. Waiting in the wings is wily old fox Nick Easter, who could have a huge part to play if he is given decent game time from the bench.
With both back-rows so adept at bending the rules, it is going to be tough for the referee to keep his whistle in his pocket.
I’m expecting the penalties to rack up, so the 11/8 that Betway are offering on an England three-pointer being the first scoring play looks good value.
The last five meetings between these sides have also seen an average of more than 40 points scored.
We could see at least two or three tries and, with Farrell and Bernard Foley sparring from the tee, I’m buying total points at 44 with Sporting Index.

POINTERS

Buy England supremacy 4 (Sporting Index)

Buy total points 44 (Sporting Index)

England penalty first scoring play 11/8 (Betway)

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