Tri-Nations Preview: All Blacks vs Springboks – 30 July 2011

Well played Australia

Humble pie, why must you taste so bitter?

The Springboks have always struggled in Australia in the Tri-Nations and to expect a victory from this inexperienced team was a tad unrealistic. I did however expect to see more from the Bok ‘B’ side. I was disappointed by the lack of intensity, creativity and skill levels shown by the majority of the team. The Bokke missed far too many one on one tackles and allowed the Wallaby half backs too much space. We lost the breakdown battle and were effectively out muscled by a very good Wallaby pack of forwards.

All is, however not lost (as some in the media will have you believe). Let’s not panic, fellow Bok fans. If memory serves and thanks to the stats online, it does, in 2007 the Bokke lost at home to the All Blacks (with their full strength team) and then to Australia and the All Blacks away. Come September and John Smit was drinking beer out of the RWC trophy.

Onto this week though and an incredibly tough assignment for the Bokke. An interesting aspect of this game will be how Alain Rolland refs the breakdown. Last year his handling of the ABs vs the Boks game sparked a fair amount of outrage and led to this rugby analysis gem.

Keep it tidy, Alain.

Last Saturday, players like Gio Aplon, Chilliboy Ralapelle, Danie Russouw, John Smit and Pat Lambie all had solid if not spectacular games and they will look to build on that this week. Pat babyface Lambie is starting at flyhalf with Steyn moving to fullback in place of an injured Aplon. Adi Jacobs comes back into the side at outside centre with Juan de Jongh moving to inside centre. Jacobs is not everyone’s cup of lager but he is far more creative than Olivier and his partnership with de Jongh should create more on attack at least.

In the forwards, Gerhard Mostert will be making his debut at lock, replacing Flip Van Der Merwe. Danie Russouw moves to 8th man and Jean I may or may not eat babies for breakfast Deysel comes into the side at flank. Pieter de Villiers has kept Stegmann at 6, in the hope that he magically figures out how to compete at the breakdown.

Alistair Hargreaves has recovered from a stomach strain to again start at lock and will be hoping he can significantly lift his game this week. The front row is unchanged and to be honest the entire Bok scrum will be massively tested this week by one of, if not the best scrumming unit in international rugby.

The All Blacks are not taking the Bok team lightly and have chosen a very strong side.

Sonny Boxer Williams starts off the bench with Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith resuming a very successful and experienced midfield partnership. There are no ‘weak’ areas in the All Black line up with Carter back at flyhalf and Zac dancing feet Guildford, Mils Muliaina and Corey Jane making up a very intimidating backline.

For the Bokke to stand any chance they are going to have to starve the All Blacks of quality ball but this will not be easy with Richie captain charming McCaw, Adam Thompson and Jerome Kaino hunting the ball. The All blacks are resting Brad Thorn, Kieran Reed, Owen Franks and Kevin Mealamu but all of the replacements are sheer quality, in fact some would argue Graham Henry still does not know his best 22.

To be honest if the Bokke can walk away from this game with a bonus point, they will have done very well. If the Bokke get beaten but show some creativity on attack, are strategically sound and solid defensively, then Pieter de Villiers and Co. will be smiling as they fly home to what may well be a mostly fit and ready first choice squad.

Expect the Bokke to give a better showing of themselves and be competitive for at least some of the game but for the All Blacks to find their feet after a shaky game last week and win this game with a bonus point.

Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Kick-Off: 9:35am

Prediction: All Blacks by 15-20

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on July 29, 2011.

5 Responses to “Tri-Nations Preview: All Blacks vs Springboks – 30 July 2011”

  1. Rolland was appalling. I’m Irish and embarrassed.

  2. Agree with the above comment – Rolland’s refereeing seems to be bereft of any consistency. I doubt that a better referee would have changed the result, but it would have given the Boks more opportunities to get their act together as the match wore on.

    • Yes, although a hopeless plight at least we might’ve gained some insight into the potential this side carries. It’ll be interesting to see what the home legs return.

  3. Dear All Blacks good luck for the Rugby world cup. I know you guys are going to win because you guys are brillant player like myself. My Name is Riria Takotohiwi and I am from Waimana school, I am a girl asking you to say hi to me on Natinal TV after your game or before.

  4. good luck to use the all blacks at the rugby wold cup i hope u guys beat the team that you are faceing my name is Lisa teepa wish you the that you say hi to me from a girl and my school te waimana kaaku

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