THE ROAR ON
SBW and Nonu is an absolutely brutal partnership but could be playing into England's hands, think Tindall would prefer to have Sonny-Bill boshing it up every time rather than Conrad Smith running rings round him, plus those two are both pretty vulnerable in terms of their defensive positioning, just a shame the English have no pace in their centre combination to exploit it. Either way a good game to blood him in against the slowest centre partnership in history who won't expose his lack of positional sense, they would never play him against say the likes of D'Arcy and O'Driscoll.
I do love the typical New Zealand arrogance though making out he's a complete novice, ignoring the fact he spent 2 years at Toulon. Top 14 is much closer to international intensity than super rugby
Still can't see England winning though, I think it will be pretty close for 60 then they will pull away. Much closer with that backline though than if Smith and Jane were playing, playing a huge backline brings it back into the English comfort zone. Kiwis by 12
As for Ireland's tight five, shaky, 1-3 are decentish although Cronin should be getting preference. O Connell is a loss, but thre is more to the game than the line out, even if 4 & 5 will struggle, and I maybe fancy Ireland backs to have too much pace coupled with Sexton's distribution. Ireland back row are better. Unusually, there are plenty of players who are either smallish men or weak tacklers in the Boks' backline. Jean De Villiers, Zane Kirchner, Bjorn Basson and Gio Aplon are all men who can be beaten if the likes of Sexton, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy and Tommy Bowe are put into the right situations against them. The Springboks have a decent side out, all in all, it’s probably a stronger selection than the one which lost the corresponding fixture four years ago when Jake White went into experimental mode just under a year out from winning the World Cup. The Irish line out will struggle for obvious reasons but also because of the reality that Bismarck Du Plessis is a better thrower in of the ball than John Smit. I just have a feeling that the Boks aren't going to beat Ireland in Dublin for the first time in a decade.Tommy Bowe in the form of his life and the returning Luke Fitzgerald might be the difference.Kirchner is gonna get murdered by BOD. O'Callaghan V Bakkies, Heaslip V Spies & Bowe V Habana, and especially Buckley v the Beast, (who tends to do well against tall props, and they don't come much taller than Buckley!) will be interesting duels. Ireland by 7
Wales being Wales will flatter to decieve, easy win for the Wallabies by about 10
No point in the author clarifying anything. He gave an opinion that’s all it is. Fans have to realise that once teams in possession cotton on to the fact that it will be next to impossible to lose the ball if they are over protected it will turn into a different game altogether. My guess is that the weather in Europe will lead to more competition on the ground and a bit more deviousness…I agree in principle with favouring the guy in possession but not at the expense of a contest on the floor...
It's sad that as usual, an insighful opinion, which is merely that an opinion, is met once again with a vitriolic and benighted backlass from the more reactionary of the SH fans who repeatedly let this site down by dragging rugby down to the lowest common denominator.
The contest on the floor is what ruby is all about. it makes things interesting.
Hmmm, Ireland beat Italy in their opening game in Giants Stadium NY in USA 94. Italy still reached the final. Argentina lost to Cameroon in Italia 90 but also go to the final. I don't think that the Spanish need to despair just yet.
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