Australia v New Zealand in Auckland
Venue: Eden Park
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
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 theroar.com.au
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
|15||Israel Dagg||Hawkes Bay|
|12||Sonny Bill Williams||Canterbury|
|7||Richard McCaw (Capt.)||Canterbury|
|18||Brodie Retallick||Bay of Plenty|
|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.