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Just a couple of hours to go for the “pick of the week” match, wanna share few thoughts about this much awaited match.

North CArrying F'alou

Last time the Wales-Bok clash was during the World Cup 2011, it was 1 point win for Springboks- 17-16. I still remember James Hooks’ slightly missed conversion, everyone thought that was in.

This time plenty to look forward- for Wales, this is the first outing after the Six Nations triumph and whole lot bunch of Lions cap will be in action. For Boks, it is the first Northern Hemisphere compete after much successful  Championship series- much respected for their attacking flare that yielded 4 trys against mighty Allblacks.

After flourishing season so far for this year for Wales, there were plenty of reviews and I would like to share some of the key battles and pre match analysis if this were to Wales’s first win since 1999 against Springboks.

01. Breakdown:

This would be a close battle. I feel first quarter of the match set the tone for the entire match and this is a one area that both the teams try to get penalties for their goal kickers. Sam and equally good SA counterpart (plays for English based club) would be something to watch. Wales fielding the same back row that casted during the world cup would have a daunting task. As the game rolls off, if Wales want to adopt a passing game with more attacking flare, Tips could come in for No 6 Dan, and Sam to switch to Inside. Wales have to deal with the physicality of Springboks dynamic forwards (and the Backs too) and defending is crucial (stop the ball carrier  without conceding momentum and penalty).

02. Midfield attack:

If at all to suggest a weakest link on the Wales format, I feel the outside centre and the wing (both possessed few caps than their opponent) area where the SA fielding their captain Jean de Villiers posing some great ball running skills. Back three combination is something to look forward especially between Leigh and Lambie. I am pretty sure SA might be planning to play upfront which Wales had been having poor records on defending such threats.

03. Place kickers:

As always being such tense build up for crucial rugby, place kickers are invaluable. With 80-90% success rate would make your team win and Leigh and Steyn hardly make miscalculations to the post.

04. Master craftsmen

Manipulating the opponent’s weakness must align with your strengths. Who could take this role for Wales- Priestland. This is first time after recovering from the injury (and Dan as well) this could be something detrimental for the winning the match. However SA has no short of this- No 9 Fouri du Plesis.

Overall, the match would be close call, as in the past trend Wales starts a series with low node and steer upright as progresses, and as Shaun Edwards (Wales defend coach) commented  SA has the best side that can match their 2009 champions team.

Good luck Wales!

Good luck Springboks!

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Autumn rugby internationals are almost there, I want to share the schedule for the rugby international during the month of November.

With All blacks’ recent high Octane performance, I don’t see anyone can stop them getting the “unbeatable” tag. However would love to see how they will handle Northern hemisphere nations after routed out Boks, Wallabies & Pumas in style. I don’t think neither of three matches they face would be a “Closest” battle. Yea, not even England! and even Wales if it is on the calendar. One which not on the table is the match between AB and Japan, historically this is the first ever test match played in Japan and it will stream on www.allblacks.com/allblackstv for FREE…ohh that’s great! AB played Japan in 1988 (I believe ) in Japan but the match didn’t carry test status.

Wales is going out of ordinary (as always been when its come to RUGBY) playing Wallabies as the 4th game which is out of the IRB rugby window, and playing on a Friday against Tonga on 22nd.  As my favorite rugby team Wales, I would love to watch Springboks and the Wallabies playing at Millennium  stadium. This would be a close call, and most of players would bring their Lions experience. I hope, unlike last time Whitewash, Wales would get at least 3 wins out of 4 match series.  Again Pumas won’t be easy at all. They are closing the gap after they had 2 runs in the Rugby Championship.

I was reading this article about the All Blacks recent unbeaten success http://www.espnscrum.com/newzealand/rugby/story/201623.html

The author suggests that All Blacks were getting fresh players in to the team without effecting the cohesion, and the depth of skill level they have in every position, even the 4th string player at Fly Half has the world class wave length. This proves and also I personally believe the individual skill level- Smith the Winger, and Barret 13 (score the try coming off the bench during the 2nd Bok game), and the Number 6 guy played earlier in the tournament instead of Messam. I am gathering more analysis as to who could stop (if at all) AB before next world cup. Will do a write up on this sooner!

Autumn series 2013, (GMT)

Date Time Home Away Venue
Sat 2 14.30 England Australia Twickenham
Sat 9 14.30 England Argentina Twickenham
Sat 9 14.30 Scotland Japan Murrayfield
Sat 9 17.30 Wales South Africa Millennium Stadium
Sat 9 17.45 Ireland Samoa Lansdowne Road
Sat 9 21:00 France New Zealand Stade de France
Sat 9 15:00 Italy Australia Torino
Sat 16 14.30 Wales Argentina Millennium Stadium
Sat 16 14.30 England New Zealand Twickenham
Sat 16 15:00 Italy Fiji Cremona
Sat 16 17.45 Ireland Australia Lansdowne Road
Sat 16 18:00 France Tonga Le Havre
Sun 17 15:00 Scotland South Africa Murrayfield
Fri 22 19.30 Wales Tonga Millennium Stadium
Sat 23 15.00 Italy Argentina Napoli
Sat 23 18:00 Scotland Australia Murrayfield
Sat 23 21:00 France South Africa Stade de France
Sun 24 14.00 Ireland New Zealand Lansdowne Road
Sat 30 14.00 Wales Australia Millennium Stadium