Friday, July 07, 2006

Previewing the Bledisloe

Clup Troppo's regular sports blogger, Patrick Fitzgerald, previews the Bledisloe here and tips the Australian's to win 36 - 20. Patrick's analysis is pretty interesting but I disagree on a couple of points, not least of all because I am as hopelessly optimistic as he confesses to be. I'm picking:
  • Jack and Eaton, as well as McCaw and So'oialo, to compete well against a big jumping Wallabies pack.
  • The ABs scrum to be a real weapon.
  • I agree with Patrick that the battle of five eighths will be interesting and, if Carter does dominate, it'll be becase of the blokes in front of him but Carter's tactical kicking is better than Larkham's and he may well be able to apply enough pressure for the scrum and set pieces to work for the ABs.
  • I think Chisholm's selection will make life hard for George Smith and therefore, I think the ABs will win the loose ball competition (plus McCaw is the undisputed master of the breakdown).
  • Muliana will have a challenge with Mortlock an co, but the ABs midfield is strong enough and I don't see the game being very open.
It's going to be a close game and it'll be a barometer for how both teams are developing ahead of the World Cup. My tip for the result is a good but not big win to the All Blacks, say, 25 - 13.

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