Are the cracks starting to show?

New Zealand national rugby union team

Let the cracking begin... Image via Wikipedia

Tip of the hat to the Wallabies for winning the Tri-Nations this weekend for the first time since 2001. They did it by beating the Bok A team in the Republic and by repelling a full strength All Black team this weekend.  Nicely done, gents.  Nicely done.

Tri-Nations farce over, we can now turn our attention over to the World Cup.

Will two losses in a row trouble the fragile confidence of the Kiwis? You bet it will.  I wouldn’t want to face the stern headmasterly looks of disapproval Henry must have given his squad after the loss.  I suspect the self-medicating has already begun and half of the Kiwi backline have already downloaded some Enya tracks to “calm the nerves”.

The All Blacks are favoured to win this World Cup – as they always are.  But that also makes them favourites to choke yet again.  But will the home ground advantage make it better?  Or will it make the choke even more spectacular?

Which teams can knock the All Blacks back into the quivering choking territory? I suspect only the Wallabies, the Boks and the French have the potential to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand.  This is a strong All Black team who are unlikely to go behind on the scoreboard against anyone.  But if… and it’s a big if.. they do go behind in the scoreboard in a knock out game – it’s not going to be pretty.  Just ask the Proteas.

But the Aussies deserve their moment in the sunshine in this overscheduled season.  Tip of the hat to Wallabies fans everywhere. May your Bundaberg influenced hangovers grant you a much deserved day off work.

Smokey the Bowler

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