Friday, August 23, 2013

Big improvements needed from the Pumas and Wallabies!


It’s the reverse fixtures this weekend, with the Aussies in New Zealand and the Springboks in Argentina.

It’s a massive match for the Wallabies – they kept the score decent most of the last match, then saw it all blow out at the end. And that was at home, it’s going to be so much tougher in Wellington. The man that really needs to pull one out of the hat this weekend is Matt Toomua. He’s got to start directing play and creating something himself, and fast, otherwise Cooper should get one as quick as possible. I’d love to see him come on and do some damage, get the AB ‘fans’ something to really boo about. Scott Fardy is a replacement for the injured Hugh McMeniman. He’ll part of the physicality that the Wallabies need to bring after a fairly gentle outing last week.  Meanwhile Tom Taylor comes in for Cruden, Retallick for Romano, and Tony Woodcock makes his 100th test appearance.  Tom Taylor has played well for the Crusaders – he won’t have played with Smith or Nonu though, and it’s a big step up to test level, so is that a chink of opportunity for the Wallabies? Most people gave Australia no chance last week   – this week… they certainly aren’t burdened down by the weight of expectations. But the AB’s will get the job done no doubt.

Argentina have mountain of their own to climb against the Springboks. In this match last year, the Argentineans got a draw, probably deserved a win, and were narrowly beaten by Australia by 4 and 6 point s in their two matches.  It’s going to take some doing to make a comeback this week, after last weeks humiliation. I think the best they can be hoping for is a loss with a respectable scoreline especially as  the Springboks are notoriously bad travelers. They main tactic last week seemed to be to try and disrupt the Springboks, rather than impose their own game plan. The Pumas will be better no doubt, but it just hammers home how well they’ve been doing without a first class domestic competition and with most of their internationals playing abroad. I think the Boks will win, but by a more modest margin than last week.

Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 24
New Zealand vs Australia 08:35
Argentina vs South Africa 20:10

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