The All Blacks main threat. This time last year without the likes of Brussouw and Du Preez they were pretty wretched. However, they’re once again nearly at full strength, and right in time for World Cup finals time too. Can they play attacking rugby? Not really. But the South African model is about gruelling defence and metronomic kicking at goal (and let’s face it, in the last two World Cups, that’s what has ‘brought home Bill’). They are missing one Steyn (the precocious Frans) but in Morne they will trust.
Will P-Divvy rule the roost or will he rue the day? You decide!
Ferdy’s pick: semi finalists.
South Africans like meat. And this weekend, Quade Cooper could be on the menu. The Boks stepped up their game during the pool, and though they carefully navigated their way through the so-called ‘Pool of Death’, they did so at times with uncharacteristic flair. I thought Frans Steyn at 12 was an inspired call on P Divvy’s part, it gave them real steel in defence and another playmaker on attack. Plus, the guy can nail penalties from 60+ metres out. Case closed, Good Night, Nurse.
But he is crocked and sipping cocktails with Carter, and that means they may slip back to a style that’s more ... pragmatic, shall we say (they may have done this anyway).
They are a great team, and I agree with Ferdy - they’re the All Blacks’ biggest, toughest, most complete threat. I think they have the team to suffocate and smash the Wallabies over 80 minutes, but it won’t be a walkover. Aplon, du Preez, Hougaard, Fourie, Morne Steyn, Jean de Villiers, Habana, JP Pietersen .. wow, they have the backs. We know what their forwards can do.
Slugso reckons: Boks by 10+