Saturday, August 18, 2012

RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP: New Zealand v Australia

New Zealand v Australia in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup)

Venue: ANZ Stadium

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Whilst much of the world rugby attention is focused on South Africa where Argentina debuts in this competition, the other big guns of the Southern Hemisphere square off in Sydney.

Australia has a shaky time in their test series against Wales in June. They just won each of the three tests with the results just as easily going in Wale’s favour. New Zealander Robbie Dean’s job is under threat as Australia has not produced the goods since before the 2011 Rugby World Cup. A disappointing Rugby Championship series could see him ousted.

New Zealand are riding high. They won the 2011 Rugby World Cup and went on to dispatch Ireland, 2nd test excluded, with considerable ease. They are the favourites to win this competition.

Last Five Encounters
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)
11.09.2010 New Zealand 23-22 in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup, Tri-Nations)

Australia last defeated New Zealand in Sydney in 2008. Australia won 34-19.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-New Zealand 1st, Australia 3rd
Oceania Table-New Zealand 1st, Australia 2nd

IRB Ranking Points
New Zealand 91.43, Australia 87.05

Prediction: New Zealand by 12 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   Tony Woodcock  North Harbour
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   Kurtley Beale Melbourne Rebels
14   Adam Ashley-Cooper  NSW Waratahs
13   Robert Horne NSW Waratahs
12   Anthony Fainga’a  Queensland Reds
11   Digby Ioane  Queensland Reds
10   Berrick Barnes  NSW Waratahs
9   William Genia Queensland Reds
8   Scott Higginbotham  Queensland Reds
7   David Pocock (Capt.) WA Western Force
6   David Dennis  NSW Waratahs
5   Nathan Sharpe  WA Western Force
4   Sitaleki Timani  NSW Waratahs
3   Sekope Kepu  NSW Waratahs
2   Tatafu Polota Nau  NSW Waratahs
1   Ben Robinson  NSW Waratahs
16   Stephan Moore  ACT Brumbies
17   James Slipper Queensland Reds
18   Robert Simmons  Queensland Reds
19   Radiki Samo NSW Waratahs
20   Michael Hooper  ACT Brumbies
21   Nicholas Phipps Melbourne Rebels
22   Drew Mitchell NSW Waratahs
    HEAD COACH: Robbie Deans

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