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  • Australia by a blowout (15+)

    0 0%
  • Australia comfortably (8-14)

    2 10.53%
  • Australia in a close one (1-7)

    9 47.37%
  • Draw

    0 0%
  • New Zealand in a close one (1-7)

    5 26.32%
  • New Zealand comfortably (8-14)

    2 10.53%
  • New Zealand by a blowout (15+)

    1 5.26%
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Thread: All Blacks v Wallabies, preview

  1. #1
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    All Blacks v Wallabies, preview

    All Blacks v Wallabies, preview

    July 19, 2007 - 10:19am
    Story by: Sportal


    Venue & time

    Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday July 21, 5.35pm (AEST), 7.35pm (NZT)

    Head to head

    Played 149: New Zealand 100, Australia 44, Drawn 5.

    Last time

    June 30, 2007 - Melbourne Cricket Ground (Melbourne) - Australia 20-15 New Zealand.

    Walking wounded and team changes

    Julian Huxley's unfortunate 'off-field' injury has caused a reshuffle in the Wallabies backline. The extremely versatile Adam Ashley-Cooper takes over at fullback, Drew Mitchell comes onto the left wing and veteran custodian Chris Latham makes his remarkable comeback after a season on the sidelines due to a knee reconstruction with a bench spot. Mark Gerrard gets another chance to prove himself in Lote Tuqiri's enforced lay-off. David Lyons replaces the injured Wycliff Palu (shoulder) at the back of the scrum in the only change to the starting pack that played against the All Blacks in Melbourne. Hooker Stephen Moore has recovered from the sternum injury that kept him out of the Sydney's Test against South Africa and starts ahead of Adam Freier, who has overcome a groin injury to take his place in the squad, while Hugh McMeniman gets the nod ahead of Mark Chisholm as a fresh reserve forward.

    The All Blacks have made a couple of changes to their backline from the side beaten in Melbourne. The outstanding Isaia Toeava returns at outside centre alongside Luke McAlister, Doug Howlett wins a wing spot ahead Rico Gear and the injured Siti Sivivatu, while Mils Muliaina will start at fullback. Keith Robinson, who played well against the Springboks last week, takes over in the second-row in place of Troy Flavell while Rueben Thorne and scrumhalf Brendon Leonard win bench spots.

    Form

    After beating the All Blacks 20-15 in Melbourne, the Wallabies suffered a bit of a letdown with a patchy 25-17 win over an under-strength Springboks outfit in Sydney. The Wallabies got another bad start and trailed by 17-0 before staging a come-from-behind performance that would have restored some confidence.

    It is acknowledged that the All Blacks are not playing to their best level, but they showed how dangerous they can be by racking up a 33-6 win over South Africa last week despite playing below-par for most of the game. It is starting to come together for the Kiwis so we can expect an improvement on recent performances.

    Who's hot

    Versatile Wallabies back Adam Ashley-Cooper has proved to be a revelation for head coach John Connolly. His solo effort on the wing sparked Australia's win over the All Blacks in Melbourne and this Saturday he gets his chance to show his wares at fullback. Veterans George Gregan, Stephen Larkham and George Smith are also in great form as is skipper Stirling Mortlock, who is playing inspired rugby. Dan Vickerman and Rocky Elsom have also been outstanding in the pack.

    All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw had a colossal game last week, so much so he was accused of cheating by the Boks. No.8 Rodney So'oialo also had a strong game as did second-rower Robinson. Luke McAlister has been eye-catching in the impressive All Blacks backline while Leonard must have been close to a starting spot after some dazzling performances from the bench. Props Carl Hayman and Tony Woodcock have also been strong at scrum time.

    Teams

    Wallabies


    1. Matt Dunning,
    2. Stephen Moore,
    3. Guy Shepherdson,
    4. Nathan Sharpe,
    5. Dan Vickerman,
    6. Rocky Elsom,
    7. George Smith (vc),
    8. David Lyons,

    9. George Gregan,
    10. Stephen Larkham,
    11. Drew Mitchell,
    12. Matt Giteau,
    13. Stirling Mortlock (c),
    14. Mark Gerrard,
    15. Adam Ashley-Cooper.

    16. Adam Freier,
    17. Al Baxter,
    18. Hugh McMeniman,
    19. Stephen Hoiles,
    20. Phil Waugh (vc),
    21. Scott Staniforth,
    22. Chris Latham.

    All Blacks

    1. Tony Woodcock,
    2. Anton Oliver,
    3. Carl Hayman,
    4. Chris Jack,
    5. Keith Robinson,
    6. Jerry Collins,
    7. Richie McCaw (captain),
    8. Rodney So'oialo,

    9. Byron Kelleher,
    10. Dan Carter,
    11. Josevata Rokocoko,
    12. Luke McAlister,
    13. Isaia Toeava,
    14. Doug Howlett,
    15. Mils Muliaina.

    16. Keven Mealamu,
    17. Neemia Tialata,
    18. Reuben Thorne,
    19. Chris Masoe,
    20. Brendon Leonard,
    21. Aaron Mauger,
    22. Nick Evans.

    Mark Hughes

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  2. #2
    Champion Contributor chook's Avatar
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    I think the Wallabies to get up in a close one. ABs due a loss on home soil. We came close last year, this year we will do better. The Wallabies have a quiet confidence about them that speaks volumes.

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  3. #3
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Much as I'd like to see different I can't remember the last time the the All Blacks put in 3 average performances in a row. I think they'll probably get home in a close one.

    It would be great to get hold of those two trophies again but even if they pull it off it will be claimed as a hollow victory by our Kiwi & Saffa friends.

    If not the Blacks will begin to believe again in their divine right to be able to hoist Bill at Stad Francais, the 4 yearly choke might be on again and the grief counselors will be in for a busy time in October.

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  4. #4
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    It's a close call really. The ABs havent played to a standard most of us would be enthused about but a win is a win.

    The Wallabies have got back their believe in themselves and is not to be underestimated. Mortlock is still the best out there and a tough day for Toeava defensively. If there is one area we'd exploit, it's the Aussie back 3. Not known for their pace and AAC playing his first international at fullback, I expect a lot of high balls going his way with Roks & Dougy pressuring him all night.

    The '3 wise men' have done well in naming some quality guns on the bench as they would be a headache when they come on. Leonard, Evans & Mealamu will up the tempo with sniping runs & quick line-out throws to catch the tiring Aussies unguarded.

    ABs by 12.

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