Preview Wales vs Springboks – 13 Nov 2010
A friend of mine lives in Cardiff and he once told me how amazing it is to watch Wales play at the Millennium Stadium and that we should go together. He says the atmosphere is awesome and that it is incredible to hear the Welsh anthem and the crowd singing as they all have fantastic voices.
I replied that it did sound like a good day out but that I had a girlfriend and that he should stop hitting on me.
On Saturday, the Springboks face a Welsh side who feel that this year (like all the other recent years) is the year they finally get a second win over the Springboks in over 100 years of rugby history. Seems unlikely.
The Welsh dominated the Aussie scrum last week and their forward pack looks to be the most powerful of all of the northern hemisphere teams. They play hard rugby and the Bokke will not be heading into this game with thoughts of a casual ride to victory. The same Welsh front row had the upper hand in the second British and Irish Lions Test at Loftus last year and will be keen to stamp their authority early on. Jannie Du Plessis was not playing for the Bokke that day and has been in fine form recenel, so expect some parity in the scrums on Saturday.
Zane Kirchener did nothing wrong last week but was not properly tested and Pieter de Villiers has rightly brought Frans Steyn in to partner Jean de Villiers in the midfield. These two will more than likely swap positions depending on whether they are attacking or defending and could cause some problems for a Welsh backline that has been out of form recently. In the other change to the matchday 22, look out for man giant Willem Alberts off the bench in his Bok debut, smashing through Welsh players with storming runs.
If the roof of the stadium stays shut and expectations are that it will, this could be a very entertaining game of rugby. Bjorn Basson thrives on quality ball and Habana will be itching to silence his critics by putting in a massive game and finally breaking the try scoring record he still currently shares with Joost holy pants van der Westhuizen. Expect a great tache and for him to get the last laugh on Saturday.
The Welsh have spoken of how they have the measure of the Bok forwards but looking at Bismark, Smith, Matfield and the Beast last week, I am not so sure. Bakkies is on his way to regaining his best form and Spies had one of his best games this year. The forward battle will be intense, hard and maverick thumbs up excellent to watch but I feel the Bok backs will have the upper hand over their Welsh counterparts. Ruan Pienaar had a good game last week but if the forwards can lay the platform and things start opening up, expect Francois Hougaard and Patrick Lambie to come on and create try scoring opportunities aplenty.
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick off: 16:30
Referee: Steve I am sober now, honest Walsh
Prediction: Bokke by 10.