It is the second week of Rugby Championship and as expected the All Blacks and South Africans won the first round of test against Australia and Argentina.
This week Australia as to travel to Eden Park to face the All Blacks at home where they have won 17 test against Australia on the bounce.
Their average score has been a margin of 27 points which does not look good for the Aussies who lost last week 38-13 at home.
The All Blacks also boost a record of 41 unbeaten wins at Eden Park with the last lost against France in 1994.
A bigger problem for Australia is that they do not win without Folau who will not be playing this weekend.
Hansen made two changes to his backline with Laumape coming in the midfield and Jordie Barrett coming in at full back with Smith moving to the wing.
The forwards will be the same as last week with just a change on the bench with Tuugafasi coming in for Perry.
“The team is fully aware that it has the opportunity to close out the Bledisloe Cup series on Saturday. In saying that, we know that there’ll be a massive response from Australia following their performance last week. Not only are we excited by this challenge, but we’re looking forward to responding ourselves with a better performance,” said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.
“Our preparation this week – both physically and mentally – has been all about getting ready to do that. We’ll be looking to execute to an even higher level and play at an intensity that will challenge ourselves and our opponent.”
Micheal Cheika made four changes to his starting team with Faingaa and Banks coming in the front row.
The All Blacks dominated the set pieces last weekend and were too good for the Aussie pack in the scrums.
Sio will also be back after injury with Maddocks being promoted to the starting team.
Robertson and Kepu will make way and drop to the bench.
Tupou was also included on the bench as the coach is looking to get a better result in the set pieces.
In the backs Haylett-Petty will move to fullback after the injury to Folau and Maddocks to the wing
The Aussies need to play out of their skins this weekend to upset the All Blacks in their own back yard and keep hopes alive for getting their hands on the Bledisloe Cup.
Losing this weekend will give the trophy yet again to the world champions.
The Aussies were great in last weeks first forty minutes but could not sustain it for 80 minutes.
Any team can keep the All Blacks in range for 40 to 60 minutes and if you are not able to do so for 80 minutes plus, then you will be on the losing end of things.
Cheika will also want his troops to keep the pressure on Barrett like they did in that first half and not give him any space or time to do his magic.
The problem for Cheika is that the All Blacks have about 5 Barrett like players in this team and that is what makes this so difficult.
Defence will be a major factor for both teams and we can expect a huge onslaught from the Aussies.
Prediction: Although the Aussies will come out firing the All Blacks will take on the onslaught and pull away in the second half, All Blacks by 15
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown
Australia: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Tom Banks
|August 25, 2018||9:30 am||Rugby Championship 2018||Rugby Championship 2018||80'|
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