Rugby World Cup 2011 Semi-final 2: Predictions and Preview
In all honesty, it still feels like I have been kicked in the jollies when I think about last Sunday’s Springboks vs Wallabies quarter-final. There has been a huge outcry about how shockingly SHITake Bryce Lawrence’s officiating actually was with over 70,000
South Africans people joining a Facebook Petition to stop Bryce Lawrence from ever reffing a rugby game again
When asked for comment Pieter de Villiers had this to say…
Thank you Zapiro.
So who will be the other team in the final? Come a little closer, let’s get involved…
RWC2011 Semi-final 2: Australia vs All Blacks
Word on the 22 is that Kurtley Tache Beale is in massive doubt for the semi-final due to a hamstring injury. Beale has been one of the form players in the world this year and it will be a huge blow to Robbie Deans if he is ruled out. Chances are James O’Connor or Adam Ashley-Cooper will take his place but the backline will be weaker for it and the All Blacks will be smiling.
Other than that there looks to be no other changes even though some will surely be calling on Berrick Barnes to step into the side somewhere. Possibly at flyhalf, with Quade burglar Cooper having a nightmare game against the Bokke. He will be roundly booed every time he touches the ball and how he responds to the extra attention and pressure will be critical.
In the forwards, Dan Vickerman needs to up his game if he gets a start as he was shocking last week, although it must be said that he was up against Victor lineout king Matfield. No matter who starts at lock, the All Blacks will know this is an area they can target. The Bokke managed to put sufficient pressure on the scrums and the All Blacks will feel they will be able to do the same. They should have the measure of the Aussies in both the set phases but it is at the breakdown where the game will be won and lost.
David Pocock (with the aid of Bryce’s incompetence) won the Aussies the game last week. He did what every good fetcher does, which is push the laws and see what they can get away with and then exploit the interpretations and disrupt as much as possible. Last week he had hardly any opposition when Brussouw got injured after 20 minutes, this week Pocock is up against the guy who turned the fetching skill into an art form, Richie captain charming McCaw.
Thankfully, the game is being reffed by Craig Joubert who has been one of the better refs at this RWC and both Pocock and McCaw will need to be as accurate as possible at the rucks and tackle points. There are questions about whether McCaw’s foot injury is still not right but it looks like he will be starting, even if not 100%. A risky move but you can guarentee that he will make a mahussive contribution and give 120%, which if you add to the 80% and divide by 2 is 100%. That’s right, ‘maths’ just happened.
These two teams are evenly matched in the backs and both have exciting players that can swing the result at the drop of a ball. At the moment the teams have not been announced but I expect Israel Dagg to play, which is good news for the ABs as he is an incredible player, also, watch out for his facial expressions when he is running…
The Wallabies know how to beat this All Black side who many will feel are not as good without Dan Carter. Be that as it may, they do have the exciting although inexperienced Aaron Cruden who can step into the flyhalf position and should be solid without being spectacular.
The All Blacks have yet to peak at this RWC and the Wallabies shouldn’t even be there, so I am going with a famous All Black victory.
Kick-Off: 16th of October at 10am (SA time)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
New Zealand vs Australia Prediction: All Blacks by 7-12