Will the Boks beat New Zealand?

There is a lot of rugby played these days, but there is always a special excitement when the old foes, the All Blacks and the Springboks, face each other in a test match.

Photo: Stan Blumberg
Photo: Stan Blumberg

The last time the All Blacks lost in New Zealand was five years ago, against South Africa at Waikato Stadium when the Boks won 32-29.
Heneke Meyer has taken a gamble playing young Handre Pollard at fly half for a game that the All Blacks know will define their season.
The men in black have swept all before in 2014 and the Springboks remain the last test of just how good a team they really are.
Kieran Reid, Ritchie McCaw and crew have dominated up front so far in the Rugby Championship and this game reveal whether South Africa has the right front row to contest all the way to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Adriaan Strauss is starting the test, with Bismarck Du Plessis on the bench. Strauss has everything to play for and could actually become the starting no 2 if he scrums well, connects with his jumpers and carries the ball up well.
The contest on the ground is going to be an absorbing aspect of this test match with McCaw up against Francois Louw and Marcell Coetzee.
Predictions are for wet weather and the team that can secure the ball could well win this test match.
Add in Kieran Reid up against Duane Vermeulen, who has become the enforcer in the Springbok pack and we have a humdinger of a test.
If the Boks can dominate up front, they will be in with a chance to win the test. However, the All Blacks will not just let the Boks walk all over them and will be hungry for victory on their home ground.
Expect the big hits and clashes to be brutal. And if Handre Pollard is the man to take the Boks to the 2015 World Cup, he has an excellent opportunity to stand up and be counted.
The teams:
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Cory Jane.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Damian de Allende.

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