This weekend sees the start of the 2022 Rugby Championship and first up we will be going to Nelspruit for the clash between the Springboks and the All Blacks.

According to some the All Blacks are going into this test as the underdogs but in reality this is setup to be another close one between these two great nations.

New Zealand is coming of a series loss at home against Ireland and the Springboks manage to get their home series win over Wales in July but neither had anything to write home about.

Let face it the All Blacks have issues all over but then the Boks have not been great either against Wales.

For the All Blacks their set pieces, defense and attack was weak against an Ireland side who played some of the best rugby we have seen them played in a long time.

They will be tested against the Boks but then they will know exactly what to expect from them as well. The Springboks game plan is no secret and teams know exactly what to expect from them.

The question for Bok supporters will be if they will be able to do that plan 100%, because that is what is needed when you play against a team like the All Blacks.

The same goes for the All Blacks really, and that is why contest the last couple of years between the two sides were very close. At the end it is really that cliché of the team that makes less mistakes will win this one.

The weakest point for the All Black side will be their pack when it comes to the Springboks but then one can only take the Wales series as a reference and we did not dominate in any of those three test matches for long periods of time.

For us the Boks success this weekend will be the pack and the bomb-squad coming on. If they have an average afternoon or the All Blacks match them or just counter them, then we will find it hard to win this one.

The All Blacks have some powerful players in their back line for this one. Caleb Clark selection on the wing is an clear indication that they will want to counter Arendse size on Saturday. The most dangerous two players for me currently in the All Black backline are Ioane and Jordan but for them to get into the game they need ball and that is where Jacques needs to make sure his pack is on par.

We have great players in De Allende and Am in our midfield who are centered in our defense and will be again this weekend.

In name Smith and Barrett are world class but they have not showed it yet this year to be honest. For our sake we hope they keep it that way but with De Klerk and Pollard we have enough to counter them.

Sam Cane have come under plenty of criticism which I do not understand. As a player he was about the only one during the July series that played his heart out with Adie Savea. His captaincy maybe questioned but not his game in our mind.

Whitelock with Scott Barrett in the second row needs massive games this weekend for them to have any chance against the Bok pack.

On the Springbok side we did not see much surprise for the matchday 23 and the only thing we expect them to be 100% better than they were against Wales.

Against the All Blacks you have to be able to play for 80+ minutes and if not you will loose.

This is going to be a massive test for both sides and the winner will have some bragging right with most properly the looser being taken out by their supporters on Sunday


South Africa: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Kurt-lee Arendse, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Francois De Klerk , 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Salmaan Moerat,  20 Franco Mostert, 21 Albertus Smith, 22 Jaden Hendrikse, 23 Willie le Roux.

New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samson Taukei’aho, 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ethan de Groot, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Quinn Tupaea.

Date: Saturday, August 6
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit.
Kick-off: 17.05
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce (England) & Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)

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