Opinionated Rugby Commentary - by Fans for Fans
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Rugby Championship Round 2 and Teams Named 2 views
23 August 2012 by The Swede Eaters
Scotty Donaldson looks at the Rugby Championship Round 2 and the starting teams named. Who are you picking to win this week?
Injuries have struck all teams in the Rugby Championship 2012, with some
influential players on the sidelines. Arguably the most influential
player for the Wallabies, David Pocock is out of action for three
months, while his team mate Sekope Kepu will also watch the Wallabies
battle the All Blacks from the sideline. The Springboks are missing
hooker Bismarck Du Plessis for their match against Argentina, while the
All Blacks loosehead prop and Rugby World Cup 2011 final try scorer Tony
Woodcock is out with injury. Another crucial player who won't play
this weekend is Argentina's first five eighth Juan Martin Hernandez who
will be sorely missed. The Rugby Championship will test the depth of
the different nations involved, but these injuries allow other players
to get the opportunity to prove themselves. It also makes for some
bargain priced players in www.testrugby.com
All Blacks vs Wallabies
All Blacks look set to inflict more pain on the Wallabies at Eden Park
on Saturday. Both teams looked rusty last week, but the inclusion of
Michael Hooper will be worth watching. Hooper was great for the
Brumbies in 2012, but their supply of the ball will depend on his
ability at the top level. The All Blacks were also rusty, but did
enough to win last week away from home and should be too strong again.
The Wallabies have decided to bring in Quade Cooper who is public enemy
number one in New Zealand. This match could actually make or break his
international rugby career. He offers more X Factor than Berrick
Barnes, but at the same time, he could easily be found wanting like he
was during the Rugby World Cup 2011 where he was made to look like a
chump by the All Blacks. I think the All Blacks could have scored a
truckload more points against the Wallabies last week and take more of
their chances this week. This could be Sonny Bill Williams's last game
for the All Blacks.
Players to buy - Sonny Bill Williams, Ma'a
Nonu, Israel Dagg, Dan Carter, Kieran Read, Keven Mealamu, Sam
Whitelock, Richie McCaw, Berrick Barnes.
Bargains - Michael Hooper, Luke Romano, Liam Messam.
My pick - All Blacks by 15 points.
Argentina vs South Africa
Pumas host their first ever Rugby Championship match when hosting the
Springboks. The loss of first five eighth Juan Martin Hernandez is a
massive blow as the hosts are still trying to decide who to replace him
with. Martin Rodriguez comes in at fullback. It would be great if the
Pumas could win this match, but I think the Springboks have enough
muscle upfront to withstand the powerful Pumas and then enough class to
get home thanks to the boot of Morne Steyn. I must admit that I was
initially scepitcal of Argentina's inclusion in the competition, but I
think it will really add another dimension to the competition with teams
having to travel to Argentina. It is a difficult place to win in.
Springboks have the luxury of greater depth than most teams and can
start with Adriaan Strauss at hooker instead of Bismarck du Plessis.
They have also decided to move usual flanker Willem Alberts to Number
Eight and include Jacques Potgieter on the flank.
Players to buy - Morne Steyn, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Adriaan Strauss, Bryan Habana, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.
Bargains - Eben Etzebeth, Manuel Carizza.
My pick - Springboks by 12 points.
The Springboks will eventually wear down the inspired Pumas.
Who are you picking to win The Rugby Championship 2012 Round 2 matches?
Have your say!
The Rugby Championship 2012 teams named
BLACKS: Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams, Hosea
Gear, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (c), Liam
Messam, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Wyatt
Crockett. Reserves: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Brodie Retallick, Victor
Vito, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden, Ben Smith.
Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Rob Horne, Berrick Barnes, Digby Ioane,
Quade Cooper, Will Genia (captain), Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper,
Dave Dennis, Nathan Sharpe, Sitaleki Timani, Ben Alexander, Tatafu
Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Reserves: To be advised.
Martin Rodriguez; Gonzalo Camacho, Marcelo Bosch, Santiago Fernandez,
Horacio Agulla; TBA, Nicolas Vergallo; Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe,
Alvaro Galindo, Julio Farias Cabello; Patricio Albacete, Manuel Carizza;
Juan Figallo, Eusebio Guinazu, Rodrigo Roncero. Replacements (from):
Marcos Ayerza, Martin Bustos Moyano, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Juan
Imhoff, Martin Landajo, Tomas Leonardi, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Bruno
Postiglioni, Nicolas Sanchez, Leonardo Senatore, Tomas Vallejos
Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans
Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Willem
Alberts, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Andries Bekker, 4
Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain), 1
Replacements 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat
Cilliers, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21
Pat Lambie, 22 JJ Engelbrecht.
All Blacks , wallabies, Springboks , Pumas