3rd place, bronze, Rugby World Cup 2011, So Australia won’t be the Rugby World Cup 2011 champions this year, but there’s still hope for them to place third in this Friday’s Bronze Medal Match.

Both Australia and Wales lost out on their World Cup dreams a week ago, despite this, each side will be looking to end the tournament strongly.  The Wallabies and Wales will hope to end their 2011 efforts on a high; showing everyone how well they played.

Australia always knew that they had tough finals ahead of them, having to beat both South Africa and New Zealand was a tough Southern Hemisphere battle. Unfortunately, the Wallabies lost to the Kiwi’s in a 20-6 defeat, the Aussies just couldn’t keep up with New Zealand.

In the upcoming Bronze Medal Match, it looks like Australia will have a strong advantage over Wales and are backed by the bookmakers with odds in their favour:

Australia 1.75 1.62 1.65 1.65 1.60 1.65
Wales 2.50 2.32 2.26 2.25 2.35 2.26

Australia still have a large injury list for the upcoming match and will instead include six new forwards and will reintroduce Kurtley Beale at fullback. The tactics that Australia used for the semi-final have now been completely reversed with this new addition of forwards. Wales also has a hefty injury list, particularly with Adam Jones and Sam Warburton who are ruled out.

Other than their loss to New Zealand, Australia were also defeated by Ireland during the pool matches. Wales also lost two matches during the tournament, defeated by both South Africa and France. However,  Australia have had more tries than Wales during the Cup, making them stronger competitors.

Wales put up a good fight against France, it wasn’t until Sam Warburton was red-carded that everything went downhill. Resulting in balls kicked aimlessly; Wales missed a potential 17 points through failed goal attempts.

When Wales last met Australia, the Wallabies walked away the victors with a 25-16 defeat. Australia are generally the stronger team against Wales, but with Australia normally in the World Cup finals are they losing their edge?

The Rugby World Cup Bronze Medal Match will kick off Friday October 21st 2011, at 19.00 EST, at Eden Park.