Australia v New Zealand in Auckland (Tri Nations; Bledisloe Cup)
Venue: Eden Park
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Media talk this week bills this rugby test match as a preview of the 2011 Rugby World Cup final. I have said right from last year that Australia will be one of the teams in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final. If they can click on the day and if their forward pack can more than hold the opposition this exciting team should make the final. No other team at the elite test level can produce back play like this team does. Against South Africa two weeks ago they were simply amazing.
As a Kiwi living in Australia I’d be very happy to see New Zealand as the other finalists and perhaps finally win that damn Cup! For me this game is the pre curser to the World Cup final.
Changes have been made to both teams since they last played a test. New Zealand looks like a team with a very solid squad look about. Australia looks to have significant flair. This is a match I can wait to view.
New Zealand holds the Bledisloe Cup.
Last Five Encounters
30.10.2010 Australia 26-24 in Hong Kong (Bledisloe Cup)
11.09.2010 New Zealand 23-22 in Sydney (Tri Nations; Bledisloe Cup)
07.06.2010 New Zealand 20-10 in Christchurch (Tri Nations; Bledisloe Cup)
31.07.2010 New Zealand 49-28 in Melbourne (Tri Nations; Bledisloe Cup)
31.10.2009 New Zealand 32-19 in Tokyo (Bledisloe Cup)
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Australia 1st, New Zealand 2nd
Oceania Table-New Zealand 1st, Australia 2nd
IRB Ranking Points
New Zealand 93.19, Australia 85.45
Prediction: A close game-New Zealand by 4 points
15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, Capt.6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Alistair Williams, 4 Bradley Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
16 Andrew Hore, 17 Benjamin Franks, 18 Samuel Whitelock, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.
Head Coach: Graham Henry
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Patrick McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 William Genia, 8 Benjamin McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, Capt. 5 James Horwill, 4 Robert Simmons, 3 Benjamin Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.
16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Daniel Vickerman, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Anthony Fainga'a, 22 Lachie Turner.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans