All Blacks vs Springboks

It's funny to see how many things change upon a man. Just two weeks ago, the All Blacks were the best team on earth (again). They had happily managed convincing wins with solid games against Ireland and England and were in everyone's lips favourites for the tri Nations. Meanwhile, the Boks had to struggle to defeat Wales and their fans were quite pessimistic.

Only a few days after, Richie McCaw's injury has left everyone in the kiwi-environment with a heavy anxiety feeling while the Bokke seem to be more confident than ever that they can stop their losing streak in New Zealand.

It must have something to do with their buoyant Schalk Burger having no McCaw in front of him.

Ok, here comes my warning to all those who see a Bok victory in New Zealand almost unavoidable:
  1. Do not overestimate the importance of the breakdown. It is really important. Really really important, but Henry and their men know it, and they will seek to cut-off the handicap of not having McCaw and the All Blacks are no newbies.
  2. It is by the ELVs that this game will be played and the ELVs say that the scrum can be more of a weapon, if one team has dominance over the other one.
  3. Likewise, line-outs are less important.
  4. Every All Black has played under the ELVs in the Super 14.
  5. Butch James, Montgomery, Matfield, Bakkies... have not. Three of them play from the start for the Springboks.
  6. In dead-even games, your crowd means a lot.

It is going to be a wonderful test. Both sides need to prove things. The Boks want so badly to achieve what they could not for four years under Jake White. The All Blacks want so badly to show they are the best side in the world despite their once-and-again disasters in the world cup.

Please, by no means miss out this game. Mark my words: there is going to be an after and a before, no matter of the outcome of the match.

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