Saturday, August 25, 2012

RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP: Australia v New Zealand

Australia v New Zealand in Auckland

Venue: Eden Park

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

South Africa 1 1 0 0 27 6 21 0 0 4
New Zealand 1 1 0 0 27 19 8 0 0 4
Australia 1 0 0 1 19 27 -8 0 0 0
Argentina 1 0 0 1 6 27 -21 0 0 0

Is there any certainty in any game of rugby? If there is a certainty how dangerous is it to predict and outcome? Very!

In this test match all would seem lost for Australia. They are down to their third captain this year. Out injured are James Horwill and David Pocock. Will Genia, young though he is, is a player with experience on his shoulders. The sort of player anybody would look up to. He will certainly do well.

But look at Australia’s woeful injury list and think of a team able to play a decent game of test rugby with such a list. Look at how differently the All Blacks cope without either McCaw or Carter. That’s only TWO players!Thankfully the AB’s could play out the Rugby World Cup with only one of those illustrious players absent at a time! Australia has not only lost Pocock and Horwill but think about O’Connor.

Now something about pressure. It either works for you or against you. We have the Australian team under pressure because of injuries. The whole team is under pressure because they are under performing. Coach Robbie Deans is under intense pressure to make his team perform. Another below par performance and Australia could be with a new coach (and yet more pressure!). Australia hasn’t won at Eden Park since ages ago.

Robbie Deans. Is his time running out?
Image thanks to

And then there is Quade Cooper. His comments, or lack of them, appeared to backfire as a publicity stunt. Or did it? Was he just saying ‘lets keep the comments to on the paddock stuff. Forget the rest’. Hmmm-More pressure!

But pressure can work for you. It can motivate. It can inspire. It can lift a team when down is not an option (or nowhere else to go). How the Aussies handle the pressure will determine the outcome of the game.

What about the All Black camp. Experienced prop Tony Woodcock is out injured. Wayne Crockett takes his place. This is not so serious as one would think. New Zealand has a wealth of depth in their ranks. Something Australia does not have. Apart from that everything seems to be rosy. Home ground, home crowd, a win already over Australia.SBW’s farewell game Looking good.

Another win here to New Zealand and the Bledisloe Cup is all wrapped up for another season.

Last Five Encounters
18.08.2012 New Zealand 27-19 in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup; Rugby Champ.)16.10.2011 New Zealand 20-6 in Auckland (World Cup, Semi-final)
27.08.2011 Australia 25-20 in Brisbane (Bledisloe Cup, Tri-Nations)
06.08.2011 New Zealand 30-14 in Auckland (Bledisloe Cup, Tri-Nations)
30.10.2010 Australia 26-24 in Hong Kong (Bledisloe Cup)

Note: Australia has not won at Eden Park since 1986.

New Zealand Last Five P 5, W 5
18.08.2012 v Australia W 27-19 in Sydney (Bledisoe Cup; Rugby Champ.)23.06.2012 v Ireland W 60-0 in Hamilton
16.06.2012 v Ireland W 22-19 in Christchurch
09.06.2012 v Ireland W 42-10 in Auckland
23.10.2011 v France W 8-7 in Auckland (World Cup, Final)

Australia Last Five P 5, W 3, L 2

18.08.2012 v New Zealand L 19-27 in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup; Rugby Champ.)23.06.2012 v Wales W 20-19 in Sydney
16.06.2012 v Wales W 25-23 in Melbourne
09.06.2012 v Wales W 27-19 in Brisbane
05.06.2012 v Scotland L 6-9 in Newcastle

GWC Rugby Ranking
World Table:-New Zealand 1st, Australia 2nd
Oceania Table:-New Zealand 1st, Australia 2nd

IRB Ranking Points
New Zealand 92.29, Australia 86.19

Prediction: New Zealand by 16 points



New Zealand

15   Israel Dagg Hawkes Bay
14   Corey Jane Wellington
13   Ma'a Nonu Auckland
12   Sonny Bill Williams Canterbury
11   Hosea Gear Wellington
10   Daniel Carter Canterbury
9   Aaron Smith  Manawatu
8   Kieran Read Canterbury
7   Richard McCaw (Capt.) Canterbury
6   Liam Meesam Waikato
5   Samuel Whitelock  Canterbury
4   Luke Romano  Canterbury
3   Owen Franks Canterbury
2   Keven Mealamu  Auckland
1   Wayne Crockett Canterbury
16   Andrew Hore  Taranaki
17   Benjamin Franks  Tasman
18   Brodie Retallick  Bay of Plenty
19   Victor Vito Wellington
20   Piri Weepu  Auckland
21   Aaron Cruden  Manawatu
22   Benjamin Smith Otago
    HEAD COACH: Steven Hansen




15   Adam Ashley-Cooper  NSW Waratahs
14   Drew Mitchell NSW Waratahs
13   Robert Horne NSW Waratahs
12   Berrick Barnes  NSW Waratahs
11   Digby Ioane  Queensland Reds
10   Quade Cooper Queensland Reds
9   William Genia (Capt.) Queensland Reds
8   Scott Higginbotham  Queensland Reds
7   Michael Hooper  ACT Brumbies
6   David Dennis  NSW Waratahs
5   Nathan Sharpe  WA Western Force
4   Sitaleki Timani  NSW Waratahs
3   Benjamin Alexander ACT Brumbies
2   Stephan Moore  ACT Brumbies
1   Ben Robinson  NSW Waratahs
16   Saia Fainga’a  Queensland Reds
17   James Slipper  Queensland Reds
18   Radiki Samo  NSW Waratahs
19   Liam Gill * Queensland Reds
20   Nicholas Phipps Melbourne Rebels
21   Anthony Fainga’a  Queensland Reds
22   Kurtley Beale Melbourne Rebels
    HEAD COACH: Robbie Deans

* New test cap if called upon.

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