So I should give my view of what will happen in these games tonight. I think they will be both won by the South African sides. I think the combination of the Ali Williams affair; Nucifora's wierd approaches to selection including the failure to start with all the All Blacks since they returned and especially for this game Ali Williams, Mealamu and Rokocoko; the injury to Luke McAlister; the failure to select a kicking back in the Blues esp. David Holwell; the home-ground advantage; the quality of the Sharks and the South African determination with their first home semi-final; the heat and humidity of Durban means that the Blues have little hope tonight. I expect them to be competitive but in the end fall short.
The Crusaders similarly will be well beaten by a team running at full throttle, on the Veldt, with the passion of a crazy home crowd and the advantage this will bring. Contrary to others, I think the Crusaders have the better chance. However, without Sommerville, Crockett; with Jack not fully fit; with Carter and McCaw not fully there yet; their chance is really little better than the Blues. I am not sure that they will ever get into the game.
In the big picture of the year it means little. I believe the South Africans and All Blacks will both be formidable whoever wins. I also know that these games are still anyones when they hit the field; but it will be a monumental effort for the NZers to get up for these games.
I hope we see Carter, McCaw, Mauger, Thorne and Flavell have big games whatever the outcome.