All Blacks

It’s Bledisloe Time!

It’s Bledisloe Time!

Psst… Have you heard? There’s a Bledisloe Cup game on… This weekend… In Yokohama! Yeah, REALLY! They still play the third one even after we lose the first two.

The All Blacks are making all the right noises leading into this game, but I can’t help thinking they treat this game as a warm-up for their spring tour. I guess that’s one theory as to why we’ve won the last two of these dead rubbers. One thing is certain and that’s that those wins aren’t the norm and I’m guessing the All Blacks coaching staff aren’t happy about it. I’m expecting the Wallabies to face a team determined to correct a blip in their record and that could get ugly for us.

Adam Coleman and Michael Hooper warm up

Adam Coleman and Michael Hooper warm up

The Teams

When Hodge did his ankle the Wallabies lost their third 13 for the season. Samu Kerevi, the second 13 injured this year, is technically fit but hasn’t played a real game of rugby since June. The answer has been to move Israel Folau into his third position for the year and hope the patches hold until Kerevi gets some work under his belt. But in my very uninformed opinion, bigger problem lies in the last minute injury to Adam Coleman. His replacement, Rob Simmons, is a very good lock but just doesn’t have the presence of Coleman in attack or defence although it must be said that our lineout will probably improve. That by itself isn’t so bad but, the selection of Ned Hanagan, a similar player, at blindside flanker leaves the Wallaby forwards back five lacking any type of go forward


1. Scott Sio (51 Tests)
2. Folau Faingaa (5 Tests)
3. Allan Alaalatoa (29 Tests)
4. Izack Rodda (13 Tests)
5. Rob Simmons (90 Tests)
6. Ned Hanigan (17 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (87 Tests)
8. David Pocock (74 Tests)
9. Will Genia (96 Tests)
10. Bernard Foley (64 Tests)
11. Marika Koroibete (17 Tests)
12. Kurtley Beale (80 Tests)
13. Israel Folau (69 Tests)
14. Sefa Naivalu (7 Tests)
15. Dane Haylett-Petty (27 Tests)
16. Tolu Latu (9 Tests)
17. Sekope Kepu (99 Tests)
18. Taniela Tupou (8 Tests)
19. Rory Arnold (18 Tests)
20. Jack Dempsey (6 Tests)
21. Pete Samu (7 Tests)
22. Nick Phipps (69 Tests)
23. Samu Kerevi (21 Tests)
24. Tom Banks (3 Tests)

New Zealand

1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor
3. Owen Franks
4. Sam Whitelock
5. Scott Barrett
6. Liam Squire
7. Ardie Savea
8. Kieran Read
9. TJ Perenara
10. Beauden Barrett
11. Rieko Ioane
12. Sonny Bill Williams
13. Ryan Crotty
14. Ben Smith
15. Damian McKenzie
16. Nathan Harris
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe
18. Nepo Laulala
19. Brodie Retallick
20. Matt Todd
21. Aaron Smith
22. Richie Mo’unga
23. Anton Lienert-Brown

 The Fearless Prediction

Look I’d love to be fearless but I’d rather be right. As I write this word is coming through of Mick Burn not being on tour. This, along with the disruptions in the forwards and the backs leaves me with no alternative than to predict an easy win for the All Blacks. I hope the Wallabies prove me wrong.


All Blacks by 20.



All Blacks

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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