RE: championship won, but All Blacks instantly reset their goals,,,
October 02, 2012, 05:55:56
Let me be clear. I consulted the local sangoma - you uncivilzed people call them witchdoctors - and she told me the green colour is dominant and the black one a sign of deep mourning. She also said that the old black bones will feel the pain - they are way too old to be reliable.
Joking aside - if there is one thing I do it is to analyze things and try to get to a logical conslusion. People may not think or agree with my analysis - but I have been more times correct than wrong. In the case of the coming test my analysis is largely based on the Dinedin test and the consequential impact of changes and adjistments made afterwatds - I also look at the alternative playing models that could be used to counter the strengths of the opposition and enhance your own endeavours.
In the Dunedin test statistics and the actual performance by the All Blacks was a rather average performance by their forwardsand the fact that up to the Greyling debacle the Springboks were in fact dominating the forward play. The other perceived weakness of Cruden as flyhalf There strengths were still moving the play wide leading to the Dagg try, the brilliance of their players under high balls and the clever play of plaayes like Aaron Smoth.
The weakness of the Springbok team was amongst the forwards primarily the Greyling debacle and the tather average performance of Kruger. Amongst the backs it was poor backline play, poor kicking - whether at goal or strategically.
In arriving at a conclusion that I have reached I looked at what has been done to eliminate the perceived deficiencies.
The All Blacks made no personnel changes to their side or at least that is the indications at present. The Springboks increased their capacity by bringing in Bekker and Etzebeth - both better locks and line out players than the two that played in Dunedin. The also removed the key disaster called Greyling.
The question is - can the All Blacks up their forward game to dominate the Springboks? The answer is that it would be extremely unlikely that that would happen. The All Blacks could try a game plan by playing a wider game - like they did in Argentina - in other words to run the opposition to the ground - but that is only possible of you can achieve some degree of domination up front and the opposition makes constant mistakes in ball-handling. It is not clear whether such a plan would work - it depends very much on opposition mistakes and allowing for as degree pf freedom of especially the loosies to run wild.
The calculated conclusion reached is that there is no way that the All Blacks will dominate in the tighter phases pf forward play and that the Springboks will in fact be the dominaring team in that phase of the game. That in fact will force the All Blacks to play a very tight game and limit the capacity of the loosies to perform wider out.
The Springboks to dominate by 7 out of 10.
As per normal at Dunedin the All B;ack backline was the determining factor in the final outcome of the game. They were strengthened very much when Smith came on as scrummie - Dagg and the wings were brilliant under the high balls and in counter-attacks, The weaker players in the backline were in fact Conrad Smith and especially Cruden. The All Blacks have been strengthened considerably, by the fact that Carter is again available to play. As a matter of fact Carter is the key to All Black backline performances.
In the case of the Springboks there was a very important change in personnel with the inclusion of Goosen and Taute in the mix. It is also likely that the team will be strengthened by the inclusion of Lambie at full back. What will the effect be in the game on Saturday? Not sure at all about that one. The only guideline in that regard is the Aussie game - where a completely different style of play by the Springbok backline emerged. Matter of fact is that the All Blacks themselves would be unsure about what to do insofar as countering of the different style of play is concerned.
What is evident is that both sides will try and isolate the opposition flyhalf. Whether that would be successful is a mood point and that in itself could open up other attacking options. The All Blacks will try and attack through the channell more particularly - but there is a question mark over whether that would be successful.
The All Blacks is likely to continue domination of backline play - the question mark is by how much. In Dunedin it was a case of 8 out of 10 domination by the All Blacks and in fact decisive in their win there. Taking into account the Australian game - I believe that figure is likely to be 6,5 out of 10. It will obviously be effected by four issues, namely -
* the Carter effect;
* the quality of balls the All Blacks get from forward play;
* the obvious inexperience of Goosen and Taute - coupled to potential mistakes by them and other backline players; and
* the effectiveness of defensive strategies.
From a South African persoective the real danger to themn can be summarized in one word "Carter" He is the key to the success of the All Blacks - the Springboks in reality has nothing to fear from the All Black forwards (Mccaw and Reid included) - but Carter can be the matchwinner in this case.
On the All Blacks side the question mark is largely centered on what is going to happen with backline play by the Springboks. It is unlikely that they would give the All Blacks too many high kicked balls to exploit and the SA backline would obviously try and limit handling errors that could be exploited by the All Blacks.
As indicated there are many uncertainties in the above evaluation - but I would say the indicators in fact all show up a Springbok victory. It will be a tight affair and will be substantially be affected by the Springboks ability to get over their goalkicking vows.
However, I give the Springboks a winning chance of 10+ points.
On the All Black side On 9