Last weekend in The Rugby Championship went the way that history suggested it would. Will history repeat itself this weekend? The reason I say that is the 2 away sides won last year and it really would be something if it happened again.
Catchup with what happened in Round 1 with the DrivingMaul Round 1 Review.
Talking of Round 1 here are the standings in the DrivingMaul Supporters prediction league. I’m going to take a lot of stick from Steve (Cornflake) when he’s next on the show. The solitary bonus point from having the closest margin in one of the games puts him at the top with SHARD. Still we have a couple of rounds to go!
New Zealand v South Africa – New Zealand by 7
Last year the result was 34-36 a really close one. The return game in South Africa also went to the away side by only 2 points. In fact the combined winning margin over the last 3 games has only been 5 points!
Trying to take any guide from last weekend is pointless. The Springboks sent a starting team ahead to New Zealand due to the short turnaround and long travel. The All Blacks left most of their Crusaders in New Zealand due to being in the Super Rugby final. That means both sides will look very different to last weekend.
Even though Hansen has said he’s not concerned with the results in these opening 2 games, I think the players are. Last week the All Blacks players didn’t want to be the first to lose to Argentina. This week it’s about gaining revenge for that 2 point loss in Wellington last year. Also for both sides there’s that small matter of Rugby World Cup selection coming up….
I think the All Blacks will gain revenge and that it will only be by a score.
Everyone is very down on the Wallabies performance last weekend. For me it wasn’t that bad and there were certainly positives to take from that game. There were 2 tries that Australia should have scored and that would have put a totally different complexion on the game.
Everyone is much more positive about the Pumas even if they didn’t get that first ever win over the All Blacks. Partially that’s down to how the Jaguares did in Super Rugby but also because the pushed the All Blacks close. It was only some really solid defence that kept them out.
This weekend the Wallabies will have to deal with that rush defence from the Pumas. They showed a different game against South Africa with a bigger pack and maybe, just maybe that will help. However Argentina will come here with lots of confidence having won 19-23 in Australia last year. I don’t know if I’m on the emotional bandwagon here, but I think they will achieve it again this year in another close one.
Hermann & I will be Live on YouTube straight after the final whistle with post match reaction.
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