Rugby, Rugby, Rugby. This is what is on most rugby nation’s minds today as we move forward into the weekend. There are some big clashes this weekend with SA taking on Eng, France taking on Aus, Wales taking on the All Blacks and I have to mention Scotland (just because I can) taking on Samoa.
After a rather disappointing performance in last Saturdays clash against Scotland, one would’ve thought SA would have had to change their game plan. Instead Peter de Villiers came out guns ablaze saying that they would stick to the same game plan against the Poms as they used against the Scots. He backed up his rather unorthodox statement by saying that the players just need to execute it better. This however is not the only problem with the Boks as de Villiers’ hasty decisions to bring on substitutions who are lacking experience is becoming more and more of a norm. Patrick Lambie, who had a phenomenal season during the Currie Cup, has just not brought his A-Game to the party when it comes to the springboks. His kicking can be said is as poor as a Julius Malema outburst and his shakiness on the field is anything but reassuring. Another worrying stat against the Scots was the Boks high penalty count. If they try and produce the same antics this weekend they can be sure that Toby Flood will kick it into them.
England on the other hand are coming into this match with two good consecutive victories against the Aussies (35-18) and Samoa (23-13). The Poms are anything but complacent as they have said that there is no chance the Boks will be vulnerable after last weekend because they are going to come out to prove that they are the world’s best rugby team. The Poms lock Simon Shaw event went as far as to say that the Scots didn’t do England any favours by beating the Boks.
It’s going to be an all out affair with both teams trying to prove a point. The Boks have won the previous 6 encounters against England with the last of these being a record 42-6 win in London, two years ago. Both sides I think will play a kicking game, but it is up to the team who has more courage to run with the ball in hand that will win this encounter. A good kicking battle will be seen between Morne Steyn and Toby Flood while Scrumhalfs Ruan Pienaar (and replacement Francious Hougaard) and Ben Young will have a fierce battle and will play crucial roles in their teams performance.
Im going for a 27-17 win to the Boks.