New Zealand’s impressive defeat of Australia in the last round of the Tri-Nations unearthed a new aspect of their gameplan – their tactical kicking was phenomenal from Dan Carter and Jimmy Cowan in particular.
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has recalled scrum-half Fourie du Preez to help fight fire with fire – his kicking out of hand is also sublime, so the chances are we will see a lot of kicking.
It would be no surprise, given that the stakes are so high. No team is unbeaten and whilst the All Blacks lead in the Tri-Nations table, they have played one extra game, so the world champions could go top of the table in real terms with a victory.
If the kicking battle is a key contest, so is the set-piece. With no Bakkies Botha, New Zealand might fancy their chances of stealing a few, especially given their effective display a fortnight ago.
In the scrum, veteran prop Greg Somerville will be licking his lips as he squares up to the new South African ‘Beast’ Tendai Mtawarira – and with no John Smit in the Bok front row, this could be another area where the visitors dominate.
I’ve predicted an Away win on SuperBru: the All Blacks have returned to form, whereas the Springboks may be rusty after a few weeks away from competitive action, but it’s not an easy one to call.