Tri-Nations Preview

Tri-Nations

 

This summer’s Tri-Nations looks set to be one of the most exciting in recent times.  With the World Cup looming in September, and with the challenge of the Northern Hemisphere teams looking fragile, it is to the Southern Hemisphere we will be looking for the next World Champions. 

Many are predicting a New Zealand versus South Africa final in France, and the prospect of two fixtures between the sides over the summer is mouth-watering.  It is difficult to look past the All Blacks in any contest, but I believe the Springboks can mount a strong challenge. 

South Africa’s back row is a world-class, powerful unit led by the inimitable Schalk Burger.  It will be his battle with Richie McCaw that could determine the outcome of the matches.  The South Africans will compete physically at every breakdown and will stand up to the All Black power – a feat that no other team has been able to do this season – and potentially starve the electrifying New Zealand backs of quality possession. 

The New Zealand pack has been weakened by the loss of two top locks, Ali Williams and Keith Robinson, and their lineout could be a weakness.  If they start losing their set piece, and South Africa employ a clever kicking game, turning the likes of Rokocoko and Sivivatu, they will be able to apply considerable pressure. Moreover, in the backs, the Springboks are no pretenders.  With Montgomery, Habana and de Villiers, they boast some of the finest backs in the world and will be defiantly aggressive in defence.  They look to me like the only team that will be able to go toe-to-toe with the mighty Blacks. 

All that said, I am loathe to discount the Wallabies.  Australia has an irritating way of being competitive in major competitions, despite not finding particularly strong form during the build-up.  Gregan and Larkham are an immensely experienced half-back unit, capable of reading and leading a game.  Outside them, they have some bruisers of their own in Stirling Mortlock and Lote Tuquiri, and if their forwards can secure a solid platform, they will look strong in attack.  Obviously, I’ll be hoping they get blitzed off the park and embarrassed in all of their matches, but they should not be ruled out. 

The result of the Tri-Nations will be a good indicator of success at the World Cup.  If South Africa beat New Zealand at home, regardless of the away result, I will expect them to win the World Cup.  A bold call, but I believe the build up to the World Cup will have a huge bearing on the tournament itself.

3 thoughts on “Tri-Nations Preview

  1. Hi. You got most of it right, but you made one mistake. The Springboks will not lost this time around. They will go out and give the All Blacks the biggest hiding of their history.

    Piere Spies, Fourie du Preez, Bakkies, Matfield, De Villiers, Fourie etc. will run havoc against an always poor NZ defense.

    It gonna be something like 64 point to 9. It’s gonna be classic and the game will be remembered forever and the day South Africa showed everyone that they are not only better the the All Blacks, but indeed a class apart.

  2. Hi. You got most of it right, but you made one mistake. The Springboks will not lose this time around. They will go out and give the All Blacks the biggest hiding of their history.

    Piere Spies, Fourie du Preez, Bakkies, Matfield, De Villiers, Fourie etc. will run havoc against an always poor NZ defense.

    It gonna be something like 64 points to 9. It’s gonna be classic and the game will be remembered forever as the day South Africa showed everyone that they are not only better the the All Blacks, but indeed a class apart once they have a good team in South African standards. After 2 poor decades the history of rugby over the last 110 years in pointing to a big SA win. That is fact. Al historians know that the best indication of the future is the look back in the past. For 80 years (1891 to mid 1970’s) South Africa was the number 1 team in the world. The All Blacks has only been able to rightfully claim this title for the last 20 years. History point for a swing back to the Springboks. It has to be, as player for player they are currently better that the All Blacks.

    Consider the following comparisons:

    Fullback. Percy is more experienced and better that whatever All Blacks can offer in a Mcdonald, Muliaina or Howlett.
    Wing: Habana and Styen is better that Rokokoko and Sivivatu, although here the Black compete a bit.
    Centres: Jean de Villiers and J Fourie are streets ahead of any NZ combination.
    Flyhalf: Butch James is not a Carter, but it doesn’t matter.
    Scrumhalf. Fourie du Preez and Ruan Pienaar is better than Weepo or Callagher. Much much bettter.
    Locks: Matfield and Bakkies the best in the world. Much better that ever NZ with Jack.
    Front row: NZ have slight edge here, but it doesn’t matter.
    Back row: Piere Spies, Juan Smith and Schalk Burger will run rings around their All Black apponents and well as run over them. McCaww will steal a few balls on the ground…otherwise he will be outclassed. Piere Spies will most probably get a lot of tries in the final, as I predict that South Africa will run riot.

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