It is here!!! Just one day to go until Rugby world 2011 kick's off.
I still have great memories of the our Springboks holding the trophy sky high as if it was yesterday.
Sadly that is in the past….and here are we up against the world once again for a new chapter of Rugby legacy.
Without a doubt, the biggest question on everyone's mind is… can the Springboks shine once again and win the World Cup???
Sadly, my head says no, but my heart say’s yes, and I will be supporting them to the extreme no matter the scoreline.
The reasoning behind my thoughts is the draw we have, and of course the players at our disposal making the task more difficult than climbing the monstrosity that is Mount Everest. First of all, in the pool stages we have got Samoa and Fiji, both good sides and they are out to hurt us. We will pick up injuries and if players in certain positions get injured, then we will be in trouble. I guess it goes without saying, the backup players we have are not in the same level as the starting ones. Now statistically speaking, Wales will be a tough task, but we should get passed them as they seem to be our guinea pigs over the last few matches, they just don’t know how to close out a win against us. When we hit the quarter finals, it will most likely be Ireland. Now unlike Wales we have battled against this side losing three and only winning one in the last four encounters. If we get past them it will be the All blacks, and to be honest, it will be a tall order for us to beat them on their home soil. So many have tried and only a few have past that examination. Even at our peak, we only managed two out seven wins in New Zealand. If we do succeed however, then we will most likely meet the Aussies in the final, who in the last six games played, have beaten us in five of them. This is a mammoth task at hand we have, but it is not all doom and gloom as we have one wildcard in the pack that not many have taken into account, and his name is Rassie Erasmus. His knowledge of the game and forward thinking is beyond his time and he'll have a few tricks up his sleeve.
Now the next issue is about our Captain John Smit, should he be there??? The answer to that one is s plain and simple, YES, he is the best captain we have in the country, historically speaking, if you throw away your captain, your team crumbles. Let us not forget what happened in 1999.
My prediction for the world cup is that the All blacks will win, I have already put my money down on them. It is well overdue for the New Zealanders to win a Rugby World Cup and fondle the Webb Ellis trophy once again, but it will take a special side to beat them at home.
Predictions for the first week:
New Zealand vs Tonga
New Zealand by 30 pts + , It is the First game and All blacks want to make statement the poor Tongan’s are in for a hiding.
Scotland by 20pts
The Scots are slowly building into a solid side with wins over Ireland and SA last year, they could just be the dark horse to cause a few upset’s during this World Cup.
Fiji vs Namibia
Fiji by 10-15pts
Namibia will play their heart out and will be competitive in the game, but ultimately Fiji's superior power will come through
France vs Japan
France by 18pts
Japan rugby has made great strides over the past few years and will be putting their body on the line for 80mins, but again the French will come through and win it…. with the French, you never know what side will come out to play.
England by 5pts
The first real tough call of many in the World Cup, Argentina seem to go missing during in the four years between World Cups but seem to always come back with a bang when it's crunch time. They play with great heart but I feel the England side is well prepared under the Martin Johnson regime and will sneak this one through.
Australia vs Italy
Australia by 16pts
Australia are on a roll, with winning the Tri- Nations they have a good young and dynamic side that will get past the Italians very easily.
Ireland vs USA
Ireland by 12
Ireland prep has not gone well and question marks over the fitness of their great players Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell will mean they will battle in their opening game…But they will have enough to get past USA.
SA vs Wales
SA by 3pts
The Welsh have been training in the deep cold mountains and claim to be fitter than they ever have, seethingly wanting the Springbok scalp since last year. This I do believe will not happen we will have enough to get past them.
That is me for this week
What do you think about that?