All Blacks v Springboks, preview

July 12, 2007 - 4:56pm
Story by: Sportal

Venue & time

Jade Stadium, Christchurch, Saturday July 14, 21.35 AEST.

Head to Head

Played 71 - New Zealand 39, South Africa 29, Draws 3.

Last time

June 23, 2007 (Durban) - All Blacks 26-21 South Africa.

Walking wounded & team changes

All Blacks centre Isaia Toeava took a blow to his troublesome shoulder during practice on Wednesday but it was a momentary setback and he has been cleared to take his place.

South Africa lost captain Bob Skinstad to broken ribs against Australia and also lost Cobus Visagie with a dislocated elbow. Lock Johan Ackerman suffered a calf strain and, while initially it was thought he could take his place in the side, he has been left out.


Having shown impressive stamina in coming from behind to win the first clash between the two sides in Durban three weeks ago, the All Blacks went off the boil against Australia. While showing some outstanding touches in the first half in Melbourne, handling mistakes and the wrong choice of tactics in the second half cost the All Blacks dearly.

South Africa showed typical grit in containing the Australians in their match in Sydney at the weekend but ultimately the sheer loss of experience in the Springboks side proved costly and the Australians were able to secure their win. The All Blacks with a week's break should be much closer to the sort of form exhibited when in South Africa.

Who's hot

Again, the changes made by the All Blacks make it difficult to make too many claims of players on top of their form. However, props Tony Woodcock and Carl Hayman are thriving in the heavier exchanges and will be joined by the mobile and aggressive hooker Keven Mealamu. In Melbourne, captain and flanker Richie McCaw was electric with some of his running with the ball and support play, but like most of the side ran into a wall in the second half. No.8 Rodney So'oialo had a big game in South Africa but fell away in Australia. In the backs, fullback Mils Muliaina remains a key contributor for the All Blacks attacking thrusts.

Wing Breyton Paulse demonstrated his value to South Africa against Australia and has the potential, should South Africa win good ball to form a potent threat with JP Pietersen playing at fullback and Jaco Pretorius on the left wing. Flanker Wikus van Heerden was simply outstanding against the Wallabies while prop Jannie du Plessis had an impressive debut. Halfback Ruan Pienaar is always a threat while lock Albert van der Berg's experience will be crucial at lineout time.


New Zealand

1. Tony Woodcock,
2. Keven Mealamu,
3. Carl Hayman,
4. Chris Jack,
5. Keith Robinson,
6. Reuben Thorne,
7. Richie McCaw (captain),
8. Rodney So'oialo,

9. Piri Weepu,
10. Dan Carter,
11. Sitiveni Sivivatu,
12. Luke McAlister,
13. Isaia Toeava,
14. Doug Howlett,
15. Mils Muliaina.

16.Andrew Hore,
17.Neemia Tialata,
18. Jerry Collins,
19. Chris Masoe,
20. Brendon Leonard,
21. Conrad Smith,
22. Nick Evans.

South Africa

1. CJ van der Linde,
2. Bismarck du Plessis,
3. Jannie du Plessis,
4. Albert van der Berg,
5. Johann Muller (captain),
6. Wikus van Heerden,
7. Pedrie Wannenburg,
8. Jacques Cronje,

9. Ruan Pienaar,
10. Derick Hourgaard,
11. Jaco Pretorius,
12. Wynand Olivier,
13. Waylon Murray,
14. Breyton Paulse,
15. JP Pietersen.

16. Gary Botha,
17. Eddie Andrews,
18. Gerrie Britz,
19. Hilton Lobberts,
20. Michael Claassens,
21. Peter Grant,
22. Tonderai Chavhanga.

Referee: Stuart Dickinson