New Zealand 31; South Africa 17
Another fantastic, bonus-point win to the All Blacks over the world champion South Africans. There wasn't the same level of dominance as last week, but it was a comprehensive win nonetheless. Most pleasing was the intent with which the All Blcks played; despite the conditions, they were always looking for attacking opportunities.
We'll review the match in the morning; meantime the golf is about to start ...
After a tremendous test match last weekend, there will be high expectation of the All Blacks when they go into battle with South Africa at the Cake Tin tonight.
After the disappointments of the 2009 Tri-Nations, the All Blacks' performance last week was a revelation. The forwards really stepped up to the mark, taking the match to the South Africans, who really didn't front. We don't think that Die Bokke will fail to front two weeks running, so we reckon there could be fireworks when to two best packs in world rugby clash tonight.
Injury has forced two changes to the All Black backline, although there was some suggestion that Piri Weepu was always going to start the match on his home ground. We still have some concerns around Weepu's ability to clear the ball qucikly, but there's no denying his aggressive defence around the breakdown, and he won't be lacking in motivation with his first test match start in two seasons. Rene Ranger is untested at this level, but he has a host of experienced players around him.
Peter de Villiers has gone for much the same team which left Eden Park with its tail between its legs last week. It will be interesting to see what the Springbok mindset is, and whether the All Blacks' physical dominace last week has left any lingering doubts. We'd expect the likes of Victor Matfield and John Smit to be at the forefront of an improved Springbok forward effort. Of course, the All Blacks aren't just going to let that happen, so the prospect of a contest for dominance is one for rugby fans to salivate over!
Roll on 7.30pm. This should be another wonderful test match, provided the Wellington weatherco-operates. Just as we said last week - we can't hardly wait!