Thursday, 8 July 2010

Need any hype for the Tri-Nations starting this weekend: All Blacks vs Springboks


There Louw was, answering questions about the future of Newlands as a venue for rugby and why Cape Town Stadium should not host Springbok v All Blacks Test matches in the future. And the reporter asking the question did not even know the Jan Pickard stand at Newlands was named after Louw’s grandfather!

On Wednesday when De Villiers finally fronted up to the media, he was teased and tempted to let go with one of his controversial statements, but this time the coach stood firm.

He was funny, serious and at times introspective in his approach and did not give the Kiwis anything to nail him on. He even explained the ’big mouth’ quote, saying that like himself, Henry is always honest in what he says. That often results in people not liking them, but according to De Villiers, he does not care what people think about him. The only opinion he cares about is his own.

“And I like myself, thanks,” he said with a smile.


Although Eden Park will look like a construction site on Saturday in preparation of next year's Rugby World Cup in NZ, and therefore only allowing half the amount of spectators to fill the stadium, this is what it should look like by next year:



The Test marks a special milestone for the hosts as it will be 90 years to the day since the All Blacks first played a match at Eden Park. Two All Blacks will also reach significant individual milestones this weekend with hooker Keven Mealamu playing his 75th Test, making him the sixth most capped All Black in history, and flyhalf Dan Carter playing his 70th Test, equaling Andrew Mehrtens' Test match record.

Key Battle: Dan Carter v Morne Steyn. Both match-winning pivots are in scintillating form and will look to dictate matters on Saturday. In order to thrive, however, they’ll need good front foot ball so one can expect an almighty battle up front.

Referee: Alan Lewis

Prediction: The All Blacks have been instilled as marginal favourites to win at home but this Springbok outfit have enough experience, skill and class to snatch a narrow victory. Springboks by 2.

New Zealand

10 Jul 10

Eden Park
Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand

Tony Woodcock1Gurthro Steenkamp
Keven Mealamu2John Smit
Owen Franks3Jannie Du Plessis
Brad Thorn4Bakkies Botha
Tom Donnelly5Victor Matfield
Jerome Kaino6Schalk Burger
Richie McCaw7Francois Louw
Kieran Read8Pierre Spies
Jimmy Cowan9Ricky Januarie
Daniel Carter10Morne Steyn
Josevata Rokocoko11Bryan Habana
Ma'a Nonu12Wynand Olivier
Conrad Smith13Jaque Fourie
Cory Jane14Jean de Villiers
Mils Muliaina15Zane Kirchner
Corey Flynn16Chilliboy Ralepelle
Ben Franks17BJ Botha
Sam Whitelock18Andries Bekker
Liam Messam19Danie Rossouw
Piri Weepu20Ruan Pienaar
Aaron Cruden21Butch James
Richard Kahui22Gio Aplon
  • Captain - Richie McCaw
  • Franks at tighthead
  • Rokocoko named on the wing
  • Nonu and Smith back in midfield


  • Captain - John Smit
  • Fit again Botha and Matfield renew second row partnership
  • Olivier replaces De Jongh at inside centre
  • Kirchner preferred at No 15
  • Rossouw included on the bench

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