Saturday, November 27, 2010

TEST RUGBY: South Africans Need A Win

South Africa v England at Twickenham

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

I'm picking this test match to be the game of the weekend. For both sides it looks like crossroads has been reached. England going up, South Africa?..Well..I don't know.

This is worrying times for south Africa. Their loss to Scotland last weekend was nothing short of a disaster. If the coaching staff thought they were under the hammer just after the Tri Nations series, they must now surely be facing a gun! Where do they go from here. This is a huge game for South Africa. A win will pick them up again and hopefully heading in the right direction for next years Rugby World Cup finals. A loss, and the World Champions will have hit rock bottom with nowhere to go, let alone up.

England, on the other hand, a warming up nicely ahead of next year. It would appear that Martin Johnson has finally got it right. His team is firing and looking a grand prospect for the World Cup finals.

Last Five Encounters
22.11.2008 South Africa 42-6 at Twickenham
20.10.2007 South Africa 15-6 in Paris (World Cup Final)
14.09.2007 South Africa 36-0 in Paris
02.06.2007 South Africa 55-22 in Pretoria
16.05.2007 South Africa 58-10 in Bloemfontein

The World Cup Final apart, South Africa has dished out some serious beatings to England in the past few years. England last defeated South Africa at Twickenham, in November 2006, 23-21.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-England 1st, South Africa 5th.

IRB Ranking Points
South Africa 85.31, England 83.61

Prediction: England by 20 points



15 Benjamin Foden, 14 Christopher Ashton, 13 Michael Tindall, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Tobias Flood, 9 Benjamin Youngs, 8 Nicholas Easter, 7 Lewis Moody, Capt. 6 Thomas Croft, 5 Thomas Palmer, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Daniel Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
16 Steven Thompson, 17 David Wilson, 18 Simon Shaw, 19 Hendre Fourie, 20 Daniel Care, 21 Charlie Hodgson, 22 Matthew Banahan.
Head Coach: Martin Johnson

South Africa
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Frans Steyn, 12 Jean De Villiers, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, Capt. 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 CJ Van der Linde, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Adi Jacobs.
Head Coach: Pieter de Villiers

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