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Eish. Strong team... Sat will be difficult being Irish ...
Posted 20:14 07th June 2012
@ Capedcrusader - moi?! Never.
Posted 15:45 07th June 2012
But many in this team make the S15 team of the week - how can that be????? Are you winding us up?? Is that you Steve - Stevo
Posted 14:47 07th June 2012
Disappointed that Ellison didn't even get a bench spot as he has been playing very well this season, but I guess the centres are a pretty congested area for the AB's at the moment. I guess the plan for this line up is that if there is an injury centres then Carter will move out one and Cruden will come on.
The AB's should win, but it will be reasonably close. NZ by 9.
Posted 12:50 07th June 2012
I am a proud irish fan but DAMN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that a strong backline
Posted 11:36 07th June 2012
I think Hansen has it right!-U must respect Ireland!!!-and I think it shows in the players he's picked!!! If anything, there's more pressure on the AB's to win and keep the record against the Irish intact, than there is for the Irish to beat the AB's!!! They're obvious under dogs, they have nothing to lose!!! And you can be sure the Irish will play like that too!!! Yes, history states that Ireland will likely lose again, but all it takes is 1 O'driscoll side-step, and it could it be a very different story!!! What I like about the Irish, is that they've always got fight in them no matter what the odds!!! Drop your guard and its game over!!!
Posted 11:29 07th June 2012
@DropZone62 Carter is playing because he is the best in the business and sorry to inform you that carter has been kicking for the Crusaders once he returned to his normal position. Also like to let you know he has been kicking well. I hope the Irish team heed your suggestion of trying to shut down Carter because if they do they have Sonny Bill ready to rip the Irish apart. Thats the trouble when you put all of your eggs in one basket. Never mind DropZone keep up yu call for Ireland they do have a chance as the All blacks are notorious slow starters in these June tests and if they play well and shut the blacks down then there could be the whiff o0f an upset. However I am still picking the Blacks will win not by much but will get stronger as the tests run on.
Posted 10:42 07th June 2012
Now that's the team of the year so far. Could anyone, honestly, say that they are beatable? I appreciate that, "any team can win on their day", but this is about as formidable a team as we're likely to see. Even with the "tweaks" some would like to see (Williams, Weepu and Cruden spring to mind), they're unlikely to lose.
Good luck Ireland - you'll need it. I'm certainly not writing them off, but it'll be a tough task for them to win this.
(@ SoftPom - we're in BST at the moment, not GMT!)
Posted 10:25 07th June 2012
Any team with Richie, Kieran and Victor will be tough to beat. The Irish will be fighting to clear thoese 3 out all night.
Posted 10:16 07th June 2012
sandal, unsure if the rusty first up has applied last couple of years: in 2010 they played their first test of the year, v Ireland, and won 66-28; a week later beat Wales 42-9. Last year convincing wins v Fiji, SA and Oz on three consecutive weekends, scoring 60, 40 and 30 points. Hansen and co have a lot to prove, as do the players who are there almost by toss-of-a-coin good fortune, knowing there's one or two other players just waiting for their black jersey.
Not predicting a high score or a big win, just some good rugby - and no excuses!
Posted 08:56 07th June 2012
Really happy with the make up of this side. No complaints at all.
I think it's a smart thing to start Carter despite Crudens form, as the 1st test of the year is traditionally the AB's weakest performance. He has proven world class ability & just as importantly his experience will make sure the AB's aren't shell-shocked if Ireland come out blazing.
Posted 08:34 07th June 2012
NZ by 20+
Posted 08:04 07th June 2012
Though Carter's return strengthens the side, it is a sobering thought that only half of the remaining XV started in the World Cup final.
Moreover, the ABs will be rusty. Always are, first up.
I hope your confidence is rewarded, BigRugbyBalls, but I think this could be a testing examination.
Posted 07:24 07th June 2012
guildford and savea as i predicted. wow vito over thomson illustrates the outrageous ridiculousness of the depth in the loose forward relm. thomson is probably the second best blindside in the world but because vito has been awesome this season he gets it over him and sam cane misses out, amazing. brilliant to see retallick start. best of luck to him, smith, savea and of course hika!
Posted 05:20 07th June 2012
Looks good to me, sorry that Adam Thomson missed out but Vito gets a deserved 2nd crack and I think he will be up for it. If it is dry and that backline can get quick ball well they look pretty potent What I like is that apart from Dagg all those players have been in great form and that is sometimes not the case in the AB's kickoff test. The Irish are always spirited and I think they will need that and a bit more to take out their fist win in 100+ years.
Posted 04:02 07th June 2012
Anyone switching on at 08.35 GMT will miss at least half of the game. Try 07.35. Good luck Ireland....you'll need it.
Posted 03:36 07th June 2012
..... after the dust has settled NZ has actually picked a half-decent team..... with a clear focus on those who are playing well in the Super rugby competition, this is a team that should perform really well. It is great to see SBW and Victor Vito in the starting line up. There are some injured players who will be missed - particularly Kaino, Mealamu and Richard Kahui.
There are some really exciting rugby matches to be played this weekend.... with some interesting sub-plots. How good are Wales? Do they have the self belief to take on the Wallabies and win in Brisbane? Can the Wallabies regain any self esteem after playing so poorly against Scotland on Tuesday? Wales will be ready to create a little history of their own.... this is a very good Wales team!
Will England be out muscled by the Bokke? Do the Bokke have the personnel to 'beat' England up physically, as they did at Twickenham in 2010? Expect a special physical edge from the Bokke.
What about Ireland, will they pose any real problems to the ABs? Will Ireland be up to the task, especially in the front row (after the 'mauling' received from England in the 6 Nations)? Will the ABs be able to compensate for the loss of Jerome Kaino and Brad Thorn? Ireland are certainly in a great position to create some history of their own - but the recent past also suggests that the ABs will get better and better as this three match series progresses. Ireland are a good team.... even without POC they are capable of winning the tight exchanges.
Posted 01:58 07th June 2012
You'd normally think the bench players would actually decrease the intensity of the match in Ireland;s hope.. But not with this team.. That's why they're the best in the world..Good luck Ireland, you're gonna need it ..
Posted 01:33 07th June 2012
I'm pretty happy, an exciting mix of youth and experience. Just need Jane, Kahui and Mealamu back and hopefully Parenara and Afeaki in the 30 at some point and we're good to go.
Posted 01:10 07th June 2012
LOL @ BigRugbyBalls. More like fecked..?
That is indeed a mean-looking team. I just think Aaron Cruden can feel unlucky - he is the best flyhalf in NZ at the moment... and Piri Weepu and Ali Williams can feel very lucky, because they have been terrible this season.
But with that front row they won't be pushed around... and with that midfield they'll be breaking any defensive line!
However, if Ireland play like they did against the Aussies at the WC, they can catch the All Blacks on the back foot in the first test... It's the best chance they'll have. They can forget about it in the 2nd and 3rd tests.
Posted 23:57 06th June 2012
|All times are local|
|Saturday , June 8|
|New Zealand vs France||08:35|
|Saturday , June 15|
|New Zealand vs France||08:35|
|Saturday , June 22|
|New Zealand vs France||08:35|
|More International Match fixtures|
|Saturday , August 17|
|Australia vs New Zealand||TBC|
|More Rugby Championship fixtures|