Rugby Championship 2012 Preview: Round 5

Firstly a thousand humble apologies for not posting a preview for the previous round of Rugby Championship awesomeness. I was on honeymoon and I have to say it was FiretrUCKING amazing. Two weeks of luxury, beautiful scenery, tree top accommodation and private game reserve shenans… glorious times and no mistake. Not to mention all the sexual adventures… Boom!

Below is our bedroom view at Hillsnek Safaris.

I know right!! Enough about me though, how have you been?

Back to this Weekend’s action now with the Springboks taking on the Wallabies at Fortress Loftus as they look to finally ‘click’ and make up for the disappointment of two away games they could have won and the All Blacks facing the Pumas away, as they try to wrap up the Rugby Champs with a game to spare. Let’s get more intimately involved as we dance this prediction dance together.

Springboks vs Wallabies

I missed the game but heard that the Wallabies had to rely on a late surge to come from behind to defeat the Pumas last week. They have since lost Quade burglar Cooper to a knee injury, although judging by his tweet attack on the ARU and Robbie Deans’s game plan I am not sure he would have been chosen anyway. Quade claims their kicking game plan is stifling their natural flair and that the environment is “toxic” but is still grateful to Deans for giving him an opportunity early in his career. #douchebag alert.

In actual team news that matters, Nathan Sharpe retains the captaincy and Kurtley Tache Beale comes in at flyhalf with Berrick Barnes moving to fullback. Other than that the team remains unchanged and will be hopeful of a repeat of 2010 when they managed to win at altitude in Bloemfontein for the first time in nearly 50 years, thanks to a monster Tache Beale penalty. Can they win for the first time at Loftus? I firetrucking very much doubt it.

The Boks have made a few changes with Heyneke Meyer dropping out of form, Morne Steyn for Johan Goosen. (Finally… Gosh!) Eben big guns Etzebeth comes back from suspension and Andries Bekker gets a start after making a big impact off the bench in Dunedin. Elton gelled hairdo Jantjies gets another chance off the wood as does Lions star Jaco Taute. Frans Steyn is still trying to overcome an ankle injury and if he can’t play, Jean de Villiers will move to inside centre with Taute playing outside him and Juan de Jongh taking his place on the bench. Two Lions backline players in the 22… Whaaaat! You’re welcome.

Much has been said of Morne Steyn’s woeful performance and it is true he had a shocker but Ruan Pienaar had an equally SHITake game and will need to be much better this Sat if he hopes to take some pressure off the young whippersnapper flyhalf.

The Bok forwards were very impressive last week and are further strengthened with the return of Etzebeth and if they can equal or improve on that display will give the Bok backline quality ball which they can hopefully use to finally score some tries. Here’s hoping Pat I use Clear for Men Lambie gets more than 7 mins as the Boks are definitely lacking a spark on attack. Expect a more open game which the Bokke should win with a four try bonus point.

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Kick-Off: Sat, 5pm

Referee: Alain I sound like I should be French but am Irish Rolland

Springboks vs Wallabies Prediction: Bokke by 7-15

Pumas vs All Blacks

The Pumas have kept the same starting side that very nearly caused an upset against the Wallabies at home last week and should be mostly chuffed with their performances so far in this tournament. They definitely play better at home and will be striving for their first Rugby championship win (although realistically their chances are far better next week against the woeful Wallabies).

The All Blacks will know they won a game they probably should have lost last week and will need to be more clinical and disciplined this week against what will be a very passionate home side. The Pumas will  be looking to get the upper hand in the forward exchanges but in reality this will prove far easier said than done.

Dan the man Carter looks like he has recovered from injury to win his 90th test cap as he slots back in at flyhalf, with Aaron Smith returning at scrumhalf making this All Black backline the best in the world at the moment by a long shot. Expect a fiery encounter with another brave showing from the South Americans but ultimately another win for the All blacks and their first Rugby Championship trophy.

Well played guys. Slow clap.

Venue: Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata

Kick-Off: Sun, 01:10am

Referee: Jaco Peyper

Pumas vs All Blacks Prediction: All Blacks by 10-17

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on September 27, 2012.

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