To be brutally honest New Zealand should seal the series this weekend against the British & Irish Lions but would it not be great for the series if they do manage to beat the All Blacks in Wellington to take it to the last test next week.
The problem the Lions face this week is far bigger than the previous week as they will have to cope with the fact that they were beaten up front last week and in the small battles at ruck time.
The skills from the All Blacks was also as expected far better than that of the Lions and they have taken the opportunities which on the other side the Lions did not manage.
This week also see the All Blacks selecting a team that looks like they will be going out full on attack which does not spell anything good for the Lions.
What does may work in the Lions favor is the fact that rain is expected on Saturday but then again we have seen that the All Blacks skill and attacking ability does not suddenly take a back seat when they play in wet conditions.
Lions coach Gatland has also made some selections that raised eyebrows with Ben Te’o that was one of the best Lions players on the field being drop to the bench for the second test.
The other selection that seems strange was that e dropped last week captain O’Mahony totally from the match day squad and promoted Warburton to captain and a start in the second test.
Warburton have not really shown good form this year and in the tour so far but he is taking a last resort chance as this is do or die for the Lions comes Saturday.
England’s Itoje gets a well deserved start in place of Kruis which should put some more fire in the Lions pack.
Gatland also rolled the dice and picked Sexton at ten and Farrell at twelve in the backline.
The All Blacks too have made changes, although theirs were enforced due to the absence of Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty. That means the chief destroyer of the Lions for the Highlanders, Waisake Naholo, comes in, as does Anton Lienert-Brown, with both high-class internationals.
With Naholo and Rieko Ioane at the wings the Lions can expect a All Blacks team that will run at them all day and these two big boys can run for miles and do not mind the contact aspect of the game.
What ever happen this is going to be a classic and one of those games that you will not be able to turn away for one minute. This will be a test that will define Gatland as he as a coach have never beaten the All Blacks.
Prediction: Simple ……All Blacks by 20 points.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Ngani Laumape
British & Irish Lions: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Sam Warburton (c), 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Ben Te’o, 23 Jack Nowell