Home Castle Lager Rugby Championship 2017 Preview: All Blacks v Australia

Preview: All Blacks v Australia

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It is the second week of the Castle Rugby Championship and just a reverse in venue from last weeks first round of tests.

The All Blacks will be hosting the Aussie in New Zealand this weekend in the first test of the day after beating them 54-34 last week. A bonus point win was just what the All Blacks wanted from there trip to OZ and they will want to repeat it at home.

It was a indifferent test last week with the All Blacks dominating and flying away with the score in the first half but let some easy tries in from the Aussies in the second half.

Defensively they will want to put a better performance together but one must give credit to the Aussies for they way they came back in that second half and their attacking capabilities.

The Australian team is busy with a re-build and one can expect that they will struggle against the likes of the All Blacks but their defensive communication was poor and not up to test standard. They are struggling this year and need to start making progress not just in attack but in all departments of the game.

Lineouts and scrums were 50/50 but we can expect a huge effort from the All Blacks at home and if they can dominate upfront the Aussies are in for another long day at the office.

The All Blacks welcome back their star hooker Dan Coles this week which should add to not just their scrumming and lineouts but also go forward ball. In my mind Coles and Marx are the best hookers in world rugby at the moment and to have him back will be huge for Hansen team.

Coach Michael Cheika picked Tevita Kuridrani in his midfield but one still believe that the All Blacks will be too good for them to defend against.

This will be yet again a fast and power game from the All Blacks and the Aussies that will try and hold on. Many people believed after the British & Irish Lions series that the All Blacks are beatable but you have to be as good as them in all departments to come even close to what the Lions side did against them.

Teams:

All Blacks – 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.

Wallabies – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Lopeti Timani/Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Curtis Rona.

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  1. First time I have ever seen a $15-1 pay-out for a Wallabies side in NZ. Must be even more for a 1-12pt win.

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