There are only three games in the June International Test Rugby Series allowing very limited opportunities for managers to make ground in order to win the Super Rugby Tips SuperBru tipping competition.
Both the All Blacks and Springboks should beat their opponents, although I think the cold and wet conditions in New Plymouth could keep the score down between the All Blacks and France. Both the All Blacks and Springboks will probably empty their benches to give inexperienced players opportunities before the Rugby Championship starts, so don’t expect them to win by big margins.
Both the All Blacks and France have made plenty of changes to their respective teams for Saturday night with the All Blacks bringing in players like Dan Carter, Andrew Hore, Piri Weepu and Victor Vito meaning that they have introduced experience, with the new players coming off the bench.
France are giving younger players the opportunity after losing some of their best players like Louis Picamoles and Frederic Michalak to injury and will probably struggle in the cold on Saturday.
My pick of 14 points is relying on the fact that the weather will be terrible and that France play out of their skins. It is as close as France will get. It is difficult following up a great 30-0 thrashing the week before and so my prediction is on the low side. If France have their mind on their trip home and the All Blacks click two weeks in a row then it could be a 40 point margin.
The margins are crucial, but only a desperate tipster would pick France or Samoa to win away. Both of these matches will be interesting given the quality of the home teams and the fact that both France and Samoa can play an attractive style of game.
The Scotland vs Italy game will separate the SuperBru tipsters. I am going for Scotland to get sneak a win over Italy. Both have lost to both the Springboks and Manu Samoa, but Scotland lost by less. Scotland were actually on course for an upset against South Africa last week. Italy haven’t reached the lofty heights of their Six Nations campaign, but if they do, they could topple the Scots. Either way, this Quadrangular Tournament in South Africa has been entertaining.
Who are you picking to win and by what margins?
All Blacks by 14
Scotland by 1
Springboks by 14
All Blacks vs France team lists
ALL BLACKS: Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Rene Ranger, Dan Carter, Piri Weepu, Kieran Read (C), Sam Cane, Victor Vito, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Andrew Hore, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Franks, Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Steven Luatua, Matt Todd, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Charles Piuta.
FRANCE: Brice Dulin, Marc Andreu, Florian Fritz, Wesley Fofana, Yoann Huget, Remi Tales, Jean Marc Doussain; Antonie Claasen, Damien Chouly, Thierry Dusautior, Yoann Maestri, Alexandre Flanquart, Nicolas Mas, Benjamin Kayser, Thomas Domingo. Reserves: Dimitri Szarzewski, Eddy Ben Arous, Luc Ducalcon, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Bernard Le Roux, Maxime Machenaud, Camille Lopez, Mathieu Bastareaud.