Friday, October 14, 2011
Sorbos World Cup Blog, Is It Game Time Yet?
The world cup semi finals start tomorrow so...who ya got? the teams have been named and the angst over who is playing is over (well nearly).
Guess you don't need those boots anymore, but you can go back to enjoying the holiday
Bracketed to start at fullback for the game, if he doesn't Ashley-Cooper gets the start..You better be fit Beale.
Kurtley Beale/Adam Ashley-Cooper, James O'Connor, Ashley-Cooper/Anthony Faingaa, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Radike Samo, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom, James Horwill (capt), Dan Vickerman, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Sekope Kepu. Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Ben McCalman, Luke Burgess, Berrick Barnes, Faingaa/Rob Horne.
With all the players who are obviously important for Australia (Beale, Cooper, Genia, Pocock) my keys to Australia winning this test lay on 3 men. Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore and Sekope Kepu if they can stand up to the onslaught they'll receive from the All Blacks scrum they will go a long way to winning this game. If they can't the All Blacks will dominate.
New Zealand Lineup
Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Richard Kahui, Aaron Cruden, Piri Weepu, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Ali Williams, Victor Vito, Andy Ellis, Stephen Donald, Sonny Bill Williams
I still have no doubt that the All Blacks will win this game, why would I? we're still easily the best side in this competition and if we continue to play smart we'll be fine. Apart from first five it's still our strongest back line, Cruden's kicking will have to be spot on, what doesn't worry me is his composure hes a calm player he'll be fine. Key to this game for the All Blacks is Keiran Reid, the man has been immense at 8 and will have to do a mountain of work with Pocock the form number 7 and McCaw having foot issues.
Wales vs France
No one really has any idea of who will win this one, Wales have to go in favourites but the unpredictable nature of France could mean the result easily going the other way.
Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams, James Hook, Mike Phillips, Toby Faletau, Sam Warburton (c), Dan Lydiate, Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris, Adam Jones, Huw Bennett, Gethin Jenkins. Reserves: Lloyd Burns, Paul James, Bradley Davies, Ryan Jones, Lloyd Williams, Stephen Jones, Scott Williams.
Led by young Warburton who has been great this world cup Wales are one game away from the world cup, the rugby these guys have played has meant they deserve to be here. The front row is playing well and experienced players such as Shane Williams on the wing and Mike Phillips are guiding the back line. Key to them winning for me is James Hook, given the start, the man has so much talent he could turn the game at any moment.
Maxime Medard, Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson, Morgan Parra, Dimitri Yachvili, Imanol Harinordoquy, Julien Bonnaire, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Lionel Nallet, Pascal Pape, Nicolas Mas, William Servat, Jean-Baptiste Poux. Reserves: Dimitri Szarzewski, Fabien Barcella, Julien Pierre, Louis Picamoles, Francois Trinh-Duc, David Marty, Cedric Heymans
The hardest team to gauge they could run away with this early or let Wales walk all over them for 80 minutes. One thing is for sure Thierry Dusatoir will have to lead from the front and make sure they are in this mentally for 80 minutes. Key man for me is Dimitri Yachvili while he has lost the kicking job he is still the man to guide this team round the park and if Parra misses his kicks early it wouldn't be surprising if Yachvili is back in the job.