All Blacks Mix it Up for Tri Nations
Graham Henry is mixing things up with his New Zealand squad ahead of the Tri Nations series with Australia and South Africa.
Henry is toying with the idea of bringing a whole host of changes to the team in order to keep a number of players on edge ahead of some very important matches. He also says this will keep the playing squad fresh, which is essential in such an equally important series.
Liam Messam is the most high profile name revealed who will be brought back into the Kiwi side and the coach has already said that he is still toying over a couple of players before any final decision is made.
The Kiwis have some very good strengths, which will make them the strong favourites to win this match but it’s important that everyone keeps in mind the calibre of the sides that they will be up against.
New Zealand has the ability to blow sides away in any match and they have done this twice against Wales. The Kiwi Maoris side was also too strong for England and this is a side that contains all of the fringe players of the New Zealand squad.
Their rugby is all about pace and power and using this effectively to stay in their opposition’s half of the field and make sure that they rarely feel the need to get back and defend. The size of some of the All Blacks players is massive and they use this to tackle in their opponents half in order to make sure that the ball stays there.
The Kiwis are also very inventive when it comes to attacking. They do not just use conventional tactics to score points and have a number of players who can move the ball around effectively in order to open up a team. It’s important in any sport to have a number of players who are capable of producing some magic in a split second in order to give their side an advantage.
Do not ignore the calibre of the opposition that New Zealand will be facing. The reason the Tri Nations series is one of the most watched events in international rugby is due to the fact that quite often the best three sides end up playing each other.
South Africa will be hell bent on making sure that they are in the best possible shape to defend their World Cup next summer. They have just as many match winning players as New Zealand who can turn a game on its head.
The Wallabies will probably go into this series as the under dogs, which is very rare for them. They have a very youthful and inexperienced side, which are very unpredictable. The results against England showed they are just as capable of crumbling as they are of producing attacking and productive rugby that would be too good for either of the other sides they are due to play.
You would be very naïve to bet against New Zealand playing anyone in their own country. The only match you should be slightly conservative over backing them in is the match against South Africa because it could go either way. They will be too good for the Aussies and you can bet safely on the All Blacks to win that match at least.
As for the players your best bet is to go over the statistics for each team. This will let you see who is scoring the most points and getting into the most attacking positions. The kickers will always have short odds because they are sure bets to go and score a lot of points in any game.