Australia vs All Blacks 31 July 2010 – Preview
This week, Springbok fans can relax, sit back, enjoy not losing and reflect as the Wallabies and All Blacks square off in a Tri-Nations battle in Melbourne.
Most Bok fans will be hoping for a Wallaby win as this will mean that the Bokke still have the tiniest of snowballs of retaining the Tri-Nations trophy by winning all of their home games with three bonus points. I prefer supporting the All Blacks over the Wallabies but my hope as far as what’s good for the Bokke is that the Wallabies win it by 8 points but don’t get 4 tries. I wouldn’t bet on it though.
The All Blacks start as favourites and rightly so having beaten the Wallabies 7 times in a row since July 2008. If the Aussies lose again on Saturday they will own the record of the worst losing streak against the All Blacks since 1947. A part of me would be quite happy to see this happen.
This could well be a very entertaining game, especially if both teams continue with the game plans they adopted against the Springboks with counter attacking and ball in hand approach all the rage. Judging on form, either of these teams can take this and it may come down to who can sustain the intensity required for the full 80 minutes. In the past it has been the All Blacks, who although trailing at half time in the last few games against the Wallabies, have finished stronger.
Craig Joubert is the referee and it will be interesting to see how he handles the breakdown. Maybe the Northern Hemisphere refs can take some notes on how to properly ref players rolling away and going off their feet at the breakdown.
David Pocock vs Richie McCaw will be immense and will go a long way in deciding which team gets go-forward ball. The Wallabies should edge the All Blacks in the line-outs but the All Blacks should have the upper hand in the scrums. The All Blacks have a better backline due to the absence of suspended Quade Cooper for the Wallabie but Giteau is due a big game and maybe this will be his day.
Apparently there has been some concern over the state of the pitch. Lets hope there are no (plenty of) injuries.
I reckon Springbok dreams of retaining the trophy will be shattered this weekend and the All Blacks will take this one and all but secure the title.
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Kick off: 12:00pm
Prediction: All Blacks by 5-10.