We are on the eve of the first Tri nation’s match of the tournament. The All Blacks hosting the reigning champions and world cup winner of South Africa. This really is a mouth-watering clash. I think Australia will test both teams in defence but with the weak point of their scrum being a target for both teams I think they are going to struggle.
However New Zealand too got a bit of a shunting in the early stages of the second test against Wales, Adam Jones turning the screw on Tony Woodcock. I am sure the Boks will have looked at this and will certainly be looking to target the young tighthead Owen Franks; I imagine he is in for a rough day at the office. The Boks are tried and tested forward dominated rugby players. Yes they have talent in the backs and they have a world class distributer in Morne Steyne but I really don’t think even with a dominant scrum they can contain this All Blacks side. I think the second row partnership of Botha and Maitfield may well have peaked and this does not bode well. South Africa are an aging team now, whether they can cope with the pace at which New Zealand are currently playing I really don’t know.
The All Blacks have the ultimate problem the two best rugby players in the world McCaw and Carter are so far ahead of the field that no one else can fill their shoes when they are absent. This is the test facing them; they have depth everywhere except 7 and 10. So will they try some options in this tournament? Yes but I doubt it will be tomorrow. Expect fire and brimstone from the kick off and somewhere in the game Bakkies Botha to get into a scrap…….. I know that hardly makes me mystic Meg but I love that great big lumbering fool!
It will be a test for my patience tomorrow as I am watching via sky player due to moving. If it works then excellent, if it doesn’t this may be the last ever blog!