One can hardly be blamed for looking at the weather forecast, rather than the team selections, for the second round of the Rugby Championship. This line from a Crowded House song keeps ringing in my ears this week.
Everywhere you go/always take the weather with you.
While we tend to view these matches from a Rugby Championship perspective, these two sides will be more concerned with the Bledisloe Cup when facing each other this weekend.
Eden Park will be sold out on Saturday when the All Blacks try and prevent the Wallabies from taking a lead in the race in their personal little battle. The weather report reads:
Weather wise, Saturday night is looking to be clear and calm, with a high of 14C during the day and a southerly wind dropping off in the evening with the temperature reducing to a crisp 4C overnight.
History reveals that Australia traditionally loses the first match, and then has to play catch-up. After last weekend’s draw, they actually have an advantage in that the third match will be played in Brisbane. If that turns out to be the decider, the home ground advantage will make them favourites to win the cup for the first time in 12 years.
Last week, the All Blacks managed to squeeze a draw with only 35% possession. In front of their home crowd and under ideal weather conditions, they are likely to turn the tables. The fact that they are unbeaten at home in 32 matches gives you some idea what the Wallabies are up against on Saturday.
While the Springboks deny having their sights set on taking five points from the match, there can be little doubt that this is actually not negotiable. The unexpected lead on the log, following last week’s draw in Sydney, gave us a gap which we will want to capitalise on before starting our tour to Australasia, following a one weekend breather.
Argentina will welcome the return of Juan Martin Hernandez at centre, which will add a lot of thump to their attacking skills. The two Argentine props were selected in the dream team based on performances after round one of the competition in the Sydney Morning Herald, ahead of all front rows from the other three nations. This is another indication that throttling five points in an away match will call for something special.
Other factors which could impact on their ability to score four tries are travelling for 22 hours to get there, the spoiling tactics of the South Americans and the fact that we will be playing at altitude.
Let’s hope this line from the Crowded House song works for the Springboks on Saturday in their quest for greatness:
Well it’s the same room but everything’s different
You can fight the sleep but not the dream.
The Moonstone/Getwine Rugby Championship Pool
Our two winners last week decided to share the prize, rather than face losing everything on the flip of a coin.
The weekly hamper from Getwine consists of the following six wines:
- 2 x Spier Bayview Sauvignon Blanc 2013
- 2 x Oude Werf Chenin Blanc 2013
- 2 x Journeys End Kendal Lodge Cabernet Merlot 2010
Don’t forget to check out their specials – you won’t get a better selection at these prices anywhere.
This week could be a lot more difficult, as the Superbru rules for deciding who wins the yellow cap favours those who had already won. Our thinking is to put the names of all those who score the most points every week in a hat for a lucky draw.