So it is half an hour before kick off and this one could go eiter way. The Aussies have some advantages. They have a great inside backs combo, strong in the midfield. They have great loosies, a superior line out and a great coach. They are a big chance. The AB's in some ways are ripe for the picking with poor form, an unsettled inside back combo, no Ali Williams and some players without match time... but...
I kind of think the scene is set for a Kiwi victory. They have their backs to the wall with heavy criticism and NZ are tough when this happens. They are playing at Eden Park and they have not lost for 23 years here. They have Captain Richie back with Rodney S, Andrew H and a few others. So, they are a different unit that played the Italians. The Aussies have some problems too. They have a pretty inexperienced back three and in the conditions they will get tonight in the wind and a bit of rain, may struggle and make some mistakes. The AB's pack also play best when they are under pressure from the public.
So, yes, Aussie have a good chance. And I will not be that surprised if they pull it off. Indeed, if they do, I don't think it will be that big a deal. The games the AB's must win at Eden Park are in 2 years. It might be good to lose a few this year to add edge and wipe away the smugness they have taken to the last 2 world cups!
But, I think the Aussies will struggle and find the pressure a bit much. Having said that, they will be tough to beat at home in a few weeks as will the Springboks. Go the AB's.