12 Jun 2008
Rugby Hots Up
Wales vs Springboks, 2nd Test: This should be a no-brainer. The Boks have players with names like "The Beast" (photo above) and "Pickup Truck". The Welsh are all called Jones and after their 43-17 hiding I expect them to be better than last week, for a while and then fade badly in the second half. When they see the Springbok bench they will start looking for their airline tickets - it's awesome. Moderate Bok win.
Oz vs Micks (in Australia): An interesting one, Robbie Dean's first match as Australia coach and he has already, as a good Canterbury Kiwi, been moaning at the soft Aussie forwards. Ireland's are anything but and this could be the best and most even match of the weekend, especially with the super pass of veteran Peter Stringer to serve Ronan O Gara who has got over his bout of RWC "going Irish" ( booze and women) that made him so pathetic in november. Oz to win but close?
All-Blacks v England (in NZ): I don't see the ABs at their best at the moment and they too are grappling with player turnover, but they could put out the coach's grandma and her dog and still beat this depleted and experimental English XV in their sleep. England hope to play an "expansive" game against the All Blacks but the only expansion will be to the Kiwis side of the scoreline. England cannot, by temperament, upbringing, bloodline, genes, training, tradition or ability play an "expansive" game so why don't they give up ttalking and just try to grind the Kiwis down as per ususal? A big score.