Five reasons why the Wallabies will win – and why they probably won’t.
1. All Black panic!
The coaches have undertaken more experiments than an industrial laboratory lately and have a scratchy win, a draw and a bad defeat to show for it. The Aussie press have had fields day this week after Steve Hansen yet again rolled the dice – this time by fielding wings Sevu Reece and George Bridge, two men in their early 20s with four caps between them. Watch them shine.
2. Soft pack
The sight of the All Blacks forwards getting pushed around for the second test in a row was an unusual and disconcerting one last weekend in Perth. If it happens again at Eden Park, the All Blacks will probably lose their 16-year grip on the Bledisloe Cup. A response is required. Watch the sparks fly.
3. Eden Park record has to go some time
It’s only a matter of time before the All Blacks’ fortress is breached. They haven’t lost there since 1994 and haven’t lost to the Wallabies there since 1986. If they play like they did at Optus Stadium they will probably lose again and the same applies if they lose a man to a red card again. And yet, as their record shows, they are supremely comfortable in this particular Auckland suburb. Watch them prove it.
4. Double trouble
The Richie Mo’unga/Beauden Barrett dual playmaker selection is still a work in progress and the Wallabies will fancy their chances of again limiting their attacking opportunities. Some say Barrett is playing out of position at fullback. And yet he is clearly now the All Blacks’ best No 15 and has been their best player in their last two tests. Watch as Mo’unga’s talent rises to the top too.
5. Too old
Shockingly, the All Blacks have a few players in their 30s, as the Aussies have taken delight in pointing out in great (and faked) illustrative detail. Sonny Bill Williams is one and he’s back after sitting out the last two tests. He quite likes the big stage, though, and they don’t get much bigger than this.
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