Northern Hemisphere to win the first round battle
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It’s less than 48 hours to kick-off the first of the November Internationals series when Wales take on Australia at the Millennium. At the same time, in another part of Britain, England will be quietly chewing their knuckles as they prepare to take on the All Blacks.
Three hours later, attention will switch across the Irish Sea to the revamped Lansdowne Road’s inaugural rugby match, where Ireland will be pawing the ground to let loose on an injury-ravaged South African team fielding only nine regular Springbok players and to make it four in a row on their African opponents.
Wales, whilst down a few of their more experienced or talented players such as Roberts, Halfpenny and Lee Byrne, should be able to account for Australia coming down off their high of a last-miunute win against New Zealand – particularly if Quade Cooper is playing and Kurtley Beale eats some dodgy Welsh Rarebit the night before.
England, desperate to be back where they were nine years ago, are straining at the leash to get physical with the New Zealanders at their Twickenham HQ. With an untested centre pairing at the heart of the New Zealand backline, England will be looking to expose early on the frailties of the New Zealand defence, as happened with the Australians last week.
England should come out on top in what will be a tight finish.
With South Africa in disarray, the question for the bookies on the Bokkies is not if they lose, but by how much. Fifteen seems to be the general consensus of the lunatic fringe.
Peter de Villiers is destined to be crowned SARU King if he manages to win this one, with a crew of newbies and half crocked old-timers, tired and worn out from their Tri-Nations and Currie Cup matches.
Murphy’s Law could well be in his favour.
All in all, having delphically studied tea leaves all the way from China and Assam, checked the firmanents for optimum astral positioning, peered long and hard into three different 24 per cent minimum lead crystal spheres, it could be a satisfying rugby weekend for Northern Hemisphere rugby fans.