On Townsville, New Zealand and South Africa open on the 5th of Rugby Championship 2021 in a duel that promises a lot. The All blacks, led by Ian Foster they remain completely undefeated and with 20 units they are on the verge of being consecrated. For their part, Springboks from Jacques nienaber They need to win with bonuses to keep the illusion alive. They will meet on Saturday, at 3.50 live on Star + and ESPN.
HOW DO THEY GET THERE: Ideal moment for the All Blacks in the new stage that Ian Foster led after RWC Japan. After a Tri Nations with a pandemic and the hard and unexpected setback against Los Pumas, the renewal was put on his shoulder with many new faces that gave the squad greater competition and options. Then, the succession of triumphs that this year started with the defeat against Tonga in July led them to recover the number one in the world ranking, a position they had lost since Japan 2019. For the world champions this was “the game to play”, face the All Blacks, his true rival. But, defeats to Australia were not in the plans, nor did they give up World Rugby leadership. The challenge is intact, although to retain the title they will have to win both games with a bonus point and leave the New Zealanders without points, something very unlikely from what has been seen so far.
WHAT DO THEY SEEK: They are the two great selections of world rugby, with countless battles and mythical figures in each team. The last antecedent was in the World Cup in Japan, where those in black prevailed in the group stage, although those who took the title were the South Africans. The goal for both of them will be to win the two remaining battles. New Zealand only needs one point to regain the crown it last won in 2018, because in Salta 2019 it was South Africa who turned around.
THE KEYS: In almost all the statistics there were marked differences for the All Blacks, except in the lin-out, where South Africa showed greater variations from the hand of Etzebeth, Jagger, Mostert and Orie. In New Zealand the rotation was noticed and also Whitelock and Retallick were not together. In game volume, the men in black also showed much more, because South Africa thought that with the pettiness they played against the Lions it was enough, that it only served against the passivity of Los Pumas and that was in evidence when the Wallabies decided to move the ball to them. .
BACKGROUND: It will be the 100th game in the rich history between the two most winning teams in history, both with three World Cups in their windows: New Zealand champions in 1987, 2011 and 2015 and South Africa, in 1995, 2007 and 2019. They played for the last Once in the city of Yokohama, for the group stage of the 2019 World Cup in Japan, where the All Blacks won by 23 to 13. Also in 2019 they faced each other for the reduced Rugby Championship of that year, with a draw in 16 goals, in Wellington. The previous year, in 2018, they had played two spectacular matches and by the same two points difference: South Africa won in New Zealand after nine years, 36-34 in Wellington, and the black ones turned an incredible match in Pretoria. , by 32 to 30.
New Zealand: 1. Joe Moody, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Nepo Laulala; 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Scott Barrett; 6. Akira Ioane, 7. Ardie Savea (cap), 8. Luke Jacobson; 9. TJ Perenara, 10. Beauden Barrett; 11. George Bridge, 12. David Havili, 13. Rieko Ioane, 14. Will Jordan; 15. Jordie Barrett.
Substitutes: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17. Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18. Ofa Tuungafasi, 19. Patrick Tuipulotu, 20. Ethan Blackadder, 21. Brad Weber, 22. Damian McKenzie and 23. Quinn Tupaea.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Alternates: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn