News24

NZ to call up heavy artillery

2011-07-31 17:22

Wellington -The All Blacks will roll out most of their remaining heavy artillery for next weekend's crucial Tri-Nations rugby Test against the Wallabies in Auckland.

At stake is the chance to gain a psychological edge in the lead up to the World Cup in September, as well as the immediate rewards of the Bledisloe Cup, the symbol of trans-Tasman rugby rivalry, and lead the Tri-Nations table.

"It's going to be a huge contest at Eden Park," said All Blacks coach Graham Henry after his side demolished an under-strength Springboks 40-7 in Wellington on Saturday a week after the Wallabies disposed of the South Africans 39-20.

Frontline All Blacks forwards Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Brad Thorn and Kieran Read will all be available for the Wallabies Test after being rested since the Super Rugby series.

Wing Hosea Gear is also likely to play after being out with hamstring problems leaving Israel Dagg and Tony Woodcock on the injured list where they have been joined by John Afoa who fractured a cheekbone against the Springboks.

By bringing in the powerful quartet of forwards, Henry is aiming to firmly control the battle up front and dilute the attacking options of the Australian backs, in particular halfbacks Will Genia and Quade Cooper.

"They've got some players there that are very clever players particularly in the backs," Henry said.

"I'm looking forward to that game. I think it can be a real test of our mentality, our ability to handle things that they do quite different from what the South Africans do because of the quality of their back play."

Henry rated the All Blacks' performance against the Springboks at 70%, saying it was an improvement on their season-opener against Fiji the previous week but there remained plenty to work on.

"Our kicking game at times lacked what we wanted to achieve out of it and the defence around the rucks can be improved."

AFP

Comments
  • Maori - 2011-07-31 18:24

    We need to be consistent in our selections and work out the comnbinations. Play the tried and tested combinations. AB's need to control the scrums and breakdowns coming Saturdays, pressure on Genia and Cooper will not play show-pony rugby. I love the more structured game plan from the AB's and not play what you see. Some more work on execution. Hope we can take this form to the world cup. Hope Aussies place AB's under pressure to test mental strenght and believe to grind it out for 80 minutes. The tight phases are going to be crucial and the battle on 10. This weekend we can look forward to real test rugby and not this crap the saffas offered the past 2 weeks. It was disrespectful to the game. Sies!!

      mikeymike53 - 2011-08-01 08:17

      I am a Saffa and I totally agree, we play crap and I love watching the ABs. I am a bok supporter though.. This week will be great game

      Phelan Wulf - 2011-08-01 09:48

      I agree Maori. Shut down Genia and the WHOLE Aussie backline slows down. Cooper has WAY to much time. Good luck to the AB's. Absolute class!

      Howzitekse - 2011-08-04 15:23

      Maori. Great tribute to Genia and Cooper if you are saying that the All Blacks must play a game to counter them. Never thought I would see the day that the mighty All Blacks were scared of two of the smallest guys in word rugby.

      Maori - 2011-08-04 15:53

      @Howzitekse - not scarred, but understand and appreciate their potent attacking abilities. This is what rugby is about - respect your opposition. No press conferences before the game as to how you will "hurt" the other team (Mostert etc). Deliver on the field. Controlling the scrums by the Blacks will place pressure on Genia, who will scramble around the fences with the AB loosies all over him. Suddenly, QC is fading. Think the AB's will employ the same tactics that Saders employed against Stormers -

  • francoisjv1 - 2011-08-01 08:46

    Read Dan Retief's book to understand how arrogant Snorre is.And then he comes back from TWO humiliating losses down under with a big smile on his face. Jake white was called back to explain one loss down under. What a joke rugby has become in RSA!

  • BCC - 2011-08-01 09:12

    Thats right Saffas, ABs will get even better with their full strength team. Be afraid, be very afraid of a home ground hiding.

      alijmain - 2011-08-10 08:11

      Take the Tri-Nations and we'll happily keep the World Cup because soon we will have the team that beat you 3-0 in 2009

  • Phelan Wulf - 2011-08-01 09:46

    The first REAL game of the 2011 Tri-Nations. Really looking forward to this!

      FJ2 - 2011-08-04 13:17

      It's hard to do it, but I must agree with you.

      Maori - 2011-08-04 15:53

      Well said!

  • Chronoman - 2011-08-01 14:36

    It is now the 2 Nations. The games against the Boks are warm-ups for the Aussies and the ABs.

  • All Blacks aotearoa - 2011-08-02 10:46

    Yes there a two key players, genia and Cooper they set the tempo for the whole team if they are under pressure the whole team is, keep applying the pressure and they will crack. Once that happens the flood gates will open babe

  • FJ2 - 2011-08-04 13:19

    Watch Genia trying to run the blind side against Juan Smith next time around.

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