The past weekend all the teams had a bye before the Rugby Championship continues with round 3 this Saturday 8 September. The All Blacks will face the Pumas in Nelson (New Zealand) and the Springboks will come up against the Wallabies in Brisbane.
Like most of the previous years of the Championship both New Zealand and South Africa started with victories, before New Zealand continued to win in their second round and South Africa struggled against Argentina in their away trip.
The men from New Zealand bagged full points in both of their matches against Australia and they are sitting on 10 points. South Africa is in second spot with 5 points, Argentina 4 and Australia on 0 points.
Now this is what we’ve learned so far during the first two rounds: The All Blacks probably have wrapped up the Rugby Championship after just two matches. They face an Argentina side that have never won against them and will get a full house of points this coming Saturday which will take them to 15 points on the table.
New Zealand has been way ahead of their competitors and I can’t see them losing a match in this year’s tournament. Argentina can maybe get their second victory against Australia later in the tournament when the two sides face each other in Argentina.
Both Australia and South Africa are two very desperate sides, but with the pressure far more on the South Africans. The Springboks lost against Argentina in their second match while the Wallabies were beaten by the best side in the world in the form of the All Blacks. Australia were ‘supposed’ to lose against a side that has been dominating world rugby for the past eight years, but the Boks were favourites against an underperforming Puma side. Then again, should the loss of the Springboks in Argentina come as a surprise? The Springboks haven’t been a shadow of their old selves the last few years and the aura that they once had has long been distinguished.
South Africa’s last victory in Australia came in 2013 when then coach Heyneke Meyer’s side arguably played one of their best matches under his tenure as coach. The Boks won 38-12. Will the Springboks beat the Wallabies? Highly unlikely. They are low on confidence, star player Handre Pollard is struggling with confidence, the loose trio combination isn’t working for them at the moment and they seem to justify their current world ranking of number 7.
By Carl Coertzen – 03/09/18