Another Saturday, another desperately hard-to-call match in the Vodacom Tri-Nations competition.
So what is the most desired result from a Springbok point of view as Australia and New Zealand meet for the first time this year in Sydney?
Rob Houwing reports on News24 that Bok assistant coach Dick Muir thought long and hard before venturing: “I guess we should be hoping the All Blacks win it. Otherwise, the Wallabies go two from two (in wins) and possibly jump away from the pack a little bit.”
The present, bunched log has New Zealand on five points from two matches, South Africa on five from three and Australia four from just one outing – theirs obviously the most favourable position at this juncture.
“There is also a case for wishing that teams win their homes games from now on,” Muir said, clearly referring to the fact that the Boks have already bucked that trend by winning famously in Dunedin.
“Ignoring South African considerations, though, my gut feel tells me Australia will win in Sydney. I think they are far more balanced at the moment. The All Blacks are a little light up front, while the Aussies’ ball-carrying is excellent — and their defensive organisation, too.
“Having Robbie Deans as their coach is bound to have some sort of impact; he knows lots of the New Zealand players really, really well.”
Muir reiterated that winning all three matches on home soil was the Boks’ minimum requirement for claiming the title.
“Absolutely. Our aim is all three, while some sort of bonus-point pickup could be relevant too.
“The truth is that any side in the Tri-Nations on the day can do the business. It’s that tight.”Tweet