The terrifying prospect of facing the All Blacks due to what we have seen in the last couple of months from Alistair and his charges, have lots of Bok fans planning alternative activities like cleaning the gutters rather than watching the game. The possible embarrassment is almost too much to contemplate.
Much has been made of Heyneke Meyers’ record against these fearsome rivals but all said and done the last four clashes were 2 to 7 point games – One win from four for the Boks. Richie McGaw’s men, argued to be a side rated the best in history by many, kind of put Heyneke’s performance in perspective.
How things have changed. The bookies have the All Blacks as favourites by a winning margin of 22 points!
Former All Black scrumhalf, Justin Marshall said this week that New Zealand’s B-team would most probably be good enough to beat the top four nations in the world. A colleague of mine disagreed strongly, saying that he reckons an All Black C team will be too hard to face!
A fearsome fact of the All Black game of last week is the way they absorbed the relentless onslaught by the Argies for 55 minutes. The stats of the game on its own, shows that the All Blacks led the tackle count 130 to 98. The Argies won 8-6 on turn overs. With 45% possession the Kiwi’s still managed to score 8 tries!
The balance between defensive skills and attack is obvious to see. The strategic decision making was excellent as was the execution and discipline – only 8 penalties were conceded by the All Blacks, compared to the 14 of the Argentines.
SARU will need to take responsibility. The quality of their product is deteriorating at a massive rate and it’s not due to individual coaching or player ability, but to their decisions in policy and structures. The stands are emptying, the sponsors are drying up and the players and coaches are leaving…