There has been some interesting discussion on The Rugby Blog this week about the prospects for the Tri-Nations, and whilst the tournament may be dragging on a little by mid-September, you can’t help but be excited about the Bledisloe Cup clash this weekend.
The All Blacks host Australia at Eden Park in Auckland in the opening game of the Tri-Nations tomorrow, and the Wallabies will be eyeing a rare Away victory in New Zealand.
The men in black were not hugely impressive in their recent Test matches against France and Italy, and Australia will fancy their chances even with the return of Rodney So’oialo and Sitiveni Sivivatu to the home side, and even though they haven’t won at Eden Park since 1986 – the All Blacks haven’t lost to anyone there since 1994.
Australia will be looking to avenge their series defeat against New Zealand last summer when they built considerable leads, only to be hauled back and ultimately beaten to the Bledisloe Cup.
Captain Stirling Mortlock has said that his side are confident now that they have had a season with coach Robbie Deans, claiming they are more focused and there is more clarity in the way they are trying to play. Apparently Mortlock told his side to “Keep on keeping on” against the All Blacks, which I thought was a great way of describing how Australia normally play.
I have predicted New Zealand to win by 6 to get their Tri-Nations campaign off to a winning start. Home advantage counts for a lot, and Eden Park is a veritable fortress.
If you think you know better, join my predictions competition on SuperBru – follow this link and enter pool code barspoll if prompted, and you’ll be entered in our league. It’s completely free to play and adds even more excitement to watching rugby – but be warned, it is highly addictive!