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The All Blacks 'Bomb Squad' set to take down the Springboks

By Mike Rehu

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The Springboks have their infamous Bomb Squad, the combustible clutch of six forwards and two backs that come off the bench against tiring opponents and blow them away.

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The strategy was certainly one of the major reasons they won the 2019 World Cup.

However, with the selection of a new back three against Argentina at Suncorp Stadium this weekend, New Zealand has formed its own Bomb Squad.

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All Blacks boss Ian Foster talks Damian McKenzie’s selection at No 10 for Los Pumas re-match
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All Blacks boss Ian Foster talks Damian McKenzie’s selection at No 10 for Los Pumas re-match

It’s shaping like a handpicked platoon to defuse the missiles and torpedoes that will come raining down on the them in their important clashes against the world champions for the last two rounds of the Rugby Championship.

With Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan and George Bridge being selected in the back three in the next test, you can see the selectors have got an eye on the bombardment that Handre Pollard or Elton Jantjes are set to launch as we will find out who is the number one team on the planet.

At fullback this weekend, Jordie Barrett has shown he’s matured as a leader and influential player, firstly for the Hurricanes and then with his chances in black.

Despite the minor hiccough with the red card against Australia, of which he was exonerated, he has been a rock not only under the high ball in defence but also on attack, narrowly missing out on two tries in the in-goal area from his brother Beauden’s kicks last weekend in the 39-0 victory over Argentina.

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Also he picked up placekicking duties just before halftime, slotting four kicks from four.

The Springboks place a high premium on physicality and intimidation and Jordie’s size and attitude is the perfect plinth to place the outside back’s efforts on.

On the right wing, Will Jordan has been a revelation in test rugby. He’s scored 11 tries in seven tests, five of those in one match against Tonga.

Jordan came to prominence as a fullback for New Zealand under-age teams and Tasman in provincial rugby, but has spent extended periods at the Crusaders on the wing and certainly his rapid pace has seen him excel in the role.

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Combine the speed with good hands and elusiveness, and it’s a brave team that punts the ball to wonderful Will.

On September 5, George Bridge made the perfect return to rugby, he came off the bench against the Wallabies and seconds later got on the end of a superb cross kick from TJ Perenara to touchdown.

After an extended run of injuries, he’s brought his energy and expertise back to the left wing.

Renowned for his work under the high ball, he safely answered any questions the Pumas asked of him last weekend and looked formidable in his work rate and strength, narrowly missing out on a try, running for 114 metres in 11 carries and now he tops the competition table for clean breaks, alongside Akira Ioane.

With Anton Lienert-Brown under an injury cloud and Rieko Ioane making every post a winner at centre, this trio is shaping to be important cogs in the All Blacks’ campaign to win the Rugby Championship on neutral soil.

With the Argentinians struggling for territory last weekend, you’d expect they will try to exit out of their half more this weekend. This could be the perfect rehearsal for the Pollard pounding they’ll be bracing for the week after.

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The All Blacks 'Bomb Squad' set to take down the Springboks

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