Will England lose all five games in South Africa?
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England celebrate their win over Australia in their 2nd Rugby Union test match at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, June 19, 2010. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins
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No, that’s not a typo. It was announced yesterday that England, in addition to their three Tests, will play two midweek games when their rugby team tours the Republic in June.
Understandably, quite a few South African pundits see England being whitewashed 5-0. So do many rugby fans in Australia and NZ. Surprisingly, there are Chariot supporters in England who fear the same result.
But all is not gloom and doom for the All Whites. A fast survey among some of the more thoughtful rugby men and women in England, supplied me by overseas connections, feel that a 4-1 Boks or even a 3-2 Boks result is more likely.
This is based on the consenual idea that the Boks will triumph in the first Test, June 9, in Durban, with England not long off the plane and still gaping at the surf.
Then follows a midweek game against the Southern South African Babaas at GWK Park (Hoffe Park) in Kimberly, home of the Griquas, which at 4000 feet above sea level is 4000 feet higher than Twickenham.
The second Test follows three days later at Coke Park, Johannesburg (5700 feet). Then, three days later, it’s the Northern Babaas at Potchefstroom, about 120 clicks south-east of Joburg. Finally, it’s back to sea level for the third Test four days later at Port Elizabeth.
Not only a very hard workout for English lungs, but with a team that’s still building, a tough ask – perhaps impossible – for anything more than two mid-week wins.
Still, win, lose or draw, it’s great to see a squad touring a country again. All good luck, England. You too, Boks, not that you’ll need much.
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