Mookie4ever wrote: The boks are just as good but the difference will probably be the play of Graham Henry.
Did you see their game against England last month? I only saw highlights but Rathbone scored, a lot (4?) of tries.
I say the the All Blacks barely win - it will be close and exciting and I'm now pumped about finding out whether we will get it on TV in Canada.
Graham Henry is the coach. I'm sure he would love to still be playing though at his age
I've seen all the games this season and I can tell you to read nothing into either the Australians or All Blacks games against England. That England team was tired and not a shadow of the team that won the World Cup.
You may or may not know that the 1st game of the Tri-Nations is been played in Wellington (my home town). I'll be there with bells on supporting the AB's but New Zealand teams have a very poor record on this new ground and have never beaten Australia on it. The All Blacks will have to create history to win.
George Gregan and Joe Roff are both out of the Aussie lineup which will hurt them a lot. New Zealand certainly doesn't dominate world rugby. In fact they haven't won the World Cup for nearly 20 years. What they have got though is incredible depth. They could lose their No. 1 half back and Top winger and the overall performance would be only slightly affected. Aussie have not got this same depth. For a country of only 3 million people, New Zealand could put out 3 or 4 sides capable of competing against England France and Australia's top sides. Similar to Brazilian soccer.
There are many New Zealand rugby players that move off shore and end up playing for other countries. Most of these guys only ever make it to a baseball equivalent Single A or Double A standard in New Zealand but are still good enough to represent Scotland, Ireland, Wales and a few have even played for Canada
A big reason why we cannot dominate world rugby as we should is the huge mental component of the game. Our guys are just not mentally tough enough to win 3 or 4 hard games in a row, required to win Rugby World Cups. But although we haven't dominated world rugby cups over the past 20 years, we are still far and away the most successful rugby nation over this period, in terms of wins for and against.
Anyway enough of the crap, against recent trends I'm predicting a comfortable New Zealand win on Saturday. Probably by as much as 10 points or more. I just hope for a fine day and a firm track.
Good on you mate for having a crack.
You may be interested in this new Rugby site we've started. Still getting set up but you can register now. As you will see it has a familiar look to it.