Venue: Trafalgar Park, Nelson
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
This is Russia’s last match at the Rugby World Cup 2011. Perhaps the minnowest of the minnows, Russia has always been competitive if lacking the skills and pace needed to match it with the big teams. Today they face Australia and perhaps their toughest assignment.
Australia is plagued by injuries. So much so they have had to resort to playing a forward on the wing.Wycliff Palu has alreday returned home with a hamstring injury while Rob Horne (fractured cheekbone), Anthony Faingaa (concussion), Pat McCabe (dislocated shoulder) and Kurtley Beale (hamstring strain) and Digby Ioane (fractured thumb) are all unavailable.
Despite the injured list Australia will be too strong for the Russians. My hope is that the score can be kept to below the century.
No previous Encounters. This is the first time these two nations have met in an international rugby test match.
Australia This Cup
11.09.2011 v Italy W 32-6 in Albany
17.09.2011 v Ireland L 6-15 in Auckland
23.09.2011 v USA W 67-5 in Wellington
Russia This Cup
15.09.2011 v USA L 6-13 in New Plymouth
20.09.2011 v Italy L 17-53 in Nelson
25.09.2011 v Ireland L 12-62 in Rotorua
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Australia 3rd, Russia 20th
IRB Ranking Points
Australia 84.84, Russia 60.54
Prediction:Australia by 77 points
15 James O'Connor, 14 Radike Samo, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Benjamin McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 James Horwill, Capt. 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
16 Tatafu Polota Nau, 17 Saia Fainga'a, 18 Salesi Ma'afu, 19 Robert Simmons, 20 Rocky Elsom, 21 William Genia, 22 Nicholas Phipps.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans
15 Vasily Artemyev, 14 Denis Simplikevich, 13 Andrey Kuzin, 12 Alexey Makovetskiy, 11 Vladimir Ostroushko, 10 Yury Kushnarev, 9 Alexander Yanyushkin, 8 Victor Gresev, 7 Vyacheslav Grachev, 6 Artem Fatakhov,
5 Adam Byrnes, 4 Alexander Voytov, 3 Ivan Prishchepenko, 2 Vladislav Korshunov,Capt. 1 Sergey Popov.
16 Evgeny Matveev, 17 Vladimir Botvinnikov, 18 Alexey Travkin, 19 Andrey Garbuzov, 20 Alexander Shakirov, 21 Konstantin Rachkov, 22 Mikhail Babaev.
Head Coach: Nikolay Nerush