Australia vs All Blacks – Tri-Nations 11 September 2010

A Saturday where the Boks do not lose, I like it.

The All Blacks wrapped up this year’s Tri-Nations with three games still to be played and well done to them. They did not and still do not look like being beaten since the very first two games where they taught the Bokke some harsh rugby lessons.

It is amazing what a difference a year and some technically astute coaches can make. Yes that is a pot shot at you Pieter de Villiers, Garry Gold and Dicky poops. The Bokke dominated the All Blacks last year and it is astounding how badly they have slipped since then.

Should more Springbok players have been rested during the Super 14? Should the coaches have had at least some sort of plan to deal with the new law interpretations at the breakdown? Should the management team have hired a defensive coach before the season started? There are so many things the coaches and players did wrong in this tournament that it is hard to know where to start.

It looks like Pieter De Villiers is going to remain the coach until after the World Cup, so please let’s all stop whining about firing him. Criticism of all three coaches is justified and it is hard to defend PdV when he makes such ridiculous statements week in and week out but he will remain the coach so what can we do besides support him and the team and hope and pray that lessons have been learnt.

For the first time in my life, I actually agreed with the Minister of Sport, Makhenkesi Stofile, earlier this week when said that PdV should speak in Afrikaans or else get himself a spokesperson. PdV needs to shut the FiretrUCK up. If he does speak it should be specifically about rugby or else hire someone else to speak to the media.

Back to this week though and what should be a fantastic display of rugby between what now must be admitted are the two best teams in the world at the moment. The Wallabies played incredibly well on attack in South Africa and some brain farts and defensive lapses aside deserved to break the Highveld Hoodoo this year.

The All Blacks have played with speed, flair and aggression, while staying on the right side of all of the refs that have officiated over them this year but have not played since the emotional win at FNB Stadium a few weeks ago. Will this mean they are a touch rusty? Will they be taking it easy, safe in the knowledge that they have the Freedom Cup, Tri-Nations trophy and Bledisloe cup safely packed away in the trophy cabinet? I am not so sure. I cannot remember an All Black side that has ever played a casual game of rugby, dead rubber or not and this match will be no different.

The Wallabies will be high on confidence but low on energy after two tough games and the long flight home. The team is very young though and have some quality players coming back soon. Robbie Deans will know that if the Wallabies can beat the All Blacks this week, it will go a long way in building confidence and momentum ahead of the World Cup. They definitely have a shot, especially playing at home in Sydney.

The All Blacks have made five changes in total with Israel Dagg, Owen Franks, Piri Weepu and Victor Vito all coming into the starting 15. None of these changes will weaken this team, which is quite scary. The one player worth keeping an eye on is Aaron Cruden, who comes in for Daniel Carter. Carter is recovering from ankle surgery and Graham Henry will be hopeful Cruden can step up in this game and show himself to be an able back-up should Carter get injured at or before the World Cup next year.

The Wallabies have lost Drew Mitchell who has been one of the players of the 3N this year and have included Lachie Turner in his place. Turner had a sublime Super 14 and will hope he can replicate that form on Saturday.

The referee is Mark Lawrence, who has been one of the better refs in recent years.

Kick Off: 12pm

Venue: ANZ Stadium Sydney

Prediction: All Blacks by 10

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~ by bowlphilosophy on September 10, 2010.

One Response to “Australia vs All Blacks – Tri-Nations 11 September 2010”

  1. “should Carter get injured at or before the World Cup next year.” are you advocating that someone pay carter a visit in say July 2011, take him out for a nice seafood dinner, break his leg and never call him again?

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