Rugby Championship 2012 Preview: Wallabies vs All Blacks
Firstly I would like to say massive maverick thumbs up to all the athletes who competed in the London Olympic Games 2012. Not to mention extra special cyber fives to the people of London for doing a superb job hosting the sports extravaganza. Sheer awesome peeps, jolly good show and all that.
Onto rugby now and specifically, the Rugby Championships. This year, with extra Spanish flavour!
It is fantastic for
booby admirers world rugby that the Pumas finally get a chance to compete in a yearly tournament. They have historically done very well if you consider how little international rugby they have played and can only benefit from the experience of playing the Rugby Championship, although to be honest they will more than likely not win a game this year. Still you can’t conquer Rome in one day with all your cooks in one basket, as I always say.
More on the Pumas later, as we now lean all the way in for a view of the first Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup game between the Wallabies and the All Blacks.
Rugby Championship, Sat 18 2012
Wallabies vs All Blacks
Wiley Wallaby coach, Robbie Deans has made a few changes to the side that beat Wales earlier in the year but has opted to keep Berrick Barnes at flyhalf with Quade Burglar Cooper not even getting a spot on the bench. Aww shame. Deans has however brought in Anthony Faingaa in at centre to replace the injured Pat McCabe and has picked Dave Dennis on the flank with Scott Higginbotham moving to 8th man.
The good news for the Aussies and No 1 fan and BFF, James O’Connor, is that Kurtley Tache Beale is fit and raring to go. The Aussies have had the longest time to prepare after failing to progress further than the first play-off game in Super Rugby (lol) and will be fresh and well prepared. They will go into this game as the underdogs but that will suit them just fine thanks, mate.
The All Blacks should welcome Kieran Read back into their side and have included Sonny Boxer Williams, after some medical testing requirement shenans by his new Japanese club side, the Panasonic Wild Knights. I have yet to see the side selected but I reckon coach Steve Hansen will make as few changes as possible as he looks to build on impressive victories over Ireland in June.
The All Blacks start the tournament as favourites and rightly so, given that they are the current RWC champs and have by far the best Tri-Nations record. Look out for super tall Brodie Retallick continuing his impressive Super Rugby form at lock and experienced players like Dan the man Carter and Richie captain charming McCaw flashing their winner smiles and stamping their authority on the game early.
This is a home game for the Wallabies and they are always a dangerous side, especially with PoCOCK and Will Genia in fine fighting form but I reckon the All Blacks have too much power up front and will get their campaign off to a winning start on Saturday.
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: Sat, 12:05
Referee: Alain Rolland
Wallabies vs All Blacks Prediction: All Blacks by 5-10