New Zealand v Australia in Sydney
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
It’s all happening in Sydney this weekend. The Rugby Championship decider sees the Wallabies take on the All Blacks in what is one of the traditional rivalries of test rugby.
Australia has a lot going for it in this match. They will want to end the four years of drought in tests involving New Zealand. They have improved since last November’s northern tour and under Cheika has gone from strength to strength. They appear to be building nicely for the World Cup. A win against New Zealand tonight will be a huge boost for their confidence, an area seriously lacking in the Australian team for some time. They will need to catch New Zealand on a bad day however.
The All Blacks have a history of performing well before and World Cup and then croaking at Semi-final or final hurdles, 2011 being an exception. It is a very nervous time for New Zealand supporters and I’m sure the team has this in mind as well. At this stage they are performing very close to world champions and I can’t see them losing tonight.
Last Five Encounters NZ 4, Drawn 1.
18.10.2014 New Zealand 29-28 in Brisbane (Bledisloe Cup)
23.08.2014 New Zealand 51-20 in Auckland (Rugby Champ., Bledisloe Cup)16.08.2014 Drawn 12-12 in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup; Rugby Champ.)
19.10.2013 New Zealand 41-33 in Dunedin (Bledisloe Cup)
24.08.2013 New Zealand 27-16 in Wellington (Rugby Champ., Bledisloe Cup)
Australia Last Five P 5, W 2, L 3
25.07.2015 v Argentina W 34-9 in Mendoza (Rugby Championship)
18.07.2015 v South Africa W 24-20 in Brisbane (Rugby Champ., Mandela Cup)
29.11.2014 v England L 17-26 at Twickenham (Cook Cup)
22.11.2014 v Ireland L 23-26 in Dublin
15.11.2014 v France L 26-29 in Paris
New Zealand Last Five P 5, W 5
25.07.2015 v South Africa W 27-20 in Johannesburg (Rugby Championship)17.07.2015 v Argentina W 39-18 in Christchurch (Rugby Championship)
08.07.2015 v Samoa W 25-16 in Apia
22.11.2014 v Wales W 34-16 in Cardiff
15.11.2014 v Scotland W 24-16 at Murrayfield
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table: Australia 4th, New Zealand 5th
Oceania Table: New Zealand 1st, Australia 2nd
World Rugby Ranking Points
New Zealand 94.33, Australia 85.23
Prediction Score: New Zealand 25-16
15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matthew Giteau, 11 Andrew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nicholas Phipps, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill, 4 Dean Mumm,
3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (Capt.) 1 Scott Sio,
16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Gregory Holmes, 19 William Skelton, 20 Benjamin McCalman, 21 Nicholas White, 22 Matthew Toomua,
23 Kurtley Beale.
Head Coach: Michael Cheika
15 Benjamin Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read,
7 Richie McCaw (Capt.), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Luke Romano, 4 Brodie Retallick,
3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock.
16 Codie Taylor, 17 Benjamin Franks, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Samuel Whitelock, 20 Samuel Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Malakai Fekitoa.
Head Coach: Steve Hansen
- Test debut: New Zealand. Nehe Milner-Skudder
- Richie McCaw will eqial Brian O’Driscoll’s world record 141 test caps.
Team lists adapted from http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3551_68416,00.html