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Rugga Champs Watch – Round 3

We are back with our Castle Lager Rugby Championship Round 3 thoughts and predictions after a week’s layoff in the tournament where teams had a break and also time to get ready for the next 2 weeks of Test rugby action.

In this time we have also been welcomed to the video chat panel of Oracle Rugby and this was our discussion on Tuesday evening at 8pm.

The All Blacks are clearly heading towards another title unless something miraculous transpires in the next four remaining fixtures.

The Springboks and Australia are probably the 2 teams working the hardest behind the scenes to try and salvage something from the competition with Argentina looking for 1 or 2 more possible upsets.

One thing is certain…everyone is still chasing the All Blacks…end of story!

Saturday 8 September 2018 – All Blacks v Argentina, Trafalgar Park 09h35*

The All Blacks are still stuck on that proverbial “repeat button” world rugby has come to know and nobody has the solution to stopping them at this stage yet. However, one team that might back themselves in getting it right could be Mario Ledesma’s Los Pumas.

This team of Argentines has the experience to conquer the “almost” unbeatable Kiwis in New Zealand if they fall back on their Super Rugby experience earlier this year when they became the first team in the competition’s history to go unbeaten on their Australasian tour. On that tour they beat the Rebels, Brumbies, Blues and Chiefs in four consecutive weekends away from home.

Besides Ledesma banking on his men to remember those amazing four weeks, Steve Hansen will be very cautious of this and make sure his men in black don’t fall into a relax mindset when facing a team that just put their highest score against the Springboks only 2 weeks ago.

We can be sure that Hansen will be lining up his big guns this weekend to make sure they edge closer to yet another Rugby Championship title.

Looking at the media this week it is evident that that All blacks are leaving nothing to chance this week and are covering all their bases ahead of what should be a great Test match between these two nations as we have come to see in recent years.

PREDICTION: All Blacks by 13

Saturday 8 September 2018 – Australia v Springboks, Suncorp Stadium 12h00*

The first 2 rounds of this year’s tournament spelled a mixed bag for the Springboks who are currently second on the table behind the All Blacks. Australia however are propping up the bottom with 2 losses from 2 games and are yet to get off the mark.

The Boks’ record against Australia is not what many would like to see but facts are facts and as Springbok Coach, Rassie Erasmus has mentioned after his team’s embarrassing defeat in Mendoza to Argentina, their backs are against the wall and nothing but a win will suffice from here on forward.

The only question this week for us surrounding this week’s upcoming match with the Wallabies is, how can they truly turn it around after failing so dismally against Los Pumas?

What truly went wrong in 7 days from Durban to Mendoza with only 1 real change to the team? We don’t have the answers and even if we did it won’t matter as we are not the Bok coaches and or players.

One thing we do however want to say is that we really hope that Rassie has laid down the law for his players and that he needs to stop apologising for what his players don’t do on the field if they knew what they were supposed to have done. I’m sure we all can agree that Rassie’s coaching pedigree speaks for itself and that it is sad to see a coach of his calibre having to apologise for his team’s poor performance. It is time that players come out and do the apologising themselves; they owe it to their supporters.

Australia on the other hand has their own issues to deal with but it’s fair to say they have far better excuses than their opponents this week.

Focusing on the game ahead, both teams know it is make or break for them this weekend especially the Wallabies, and being at home will help them a lot having only lost 1 of their last 9 Tests against South Africa at home back in 2013 at the same venue.

The Springboks have only won 1 of their last 10 Test matches away from home in the Rugby Champs and only 2 in their last 7 away games overall.

One has to note that even though the Boks have lost so many times against Australia, they have been in the best position to have won most of those games.

Can the Springboks turn it around? They don’t have a choice and it will be damn hard playing against a Wallaby team that believes in themselves more than anyone else does.

PREDICTION: Springboks by 2

BONUS CURRIE CUP PICKS

Friday 7 September 2018Cell C Sharks v iCollege PumasCell C Sharks 8

Saturday 8 September 2018Tafel Lager Griquas v Vodacom Blue BullsBlue Bulls by 15

Saturday 8 September 2018Xerox Golden Lions v Toyota Free State CheetahsLions by 13

That’s it for this week! Feel free to leave your thoughts and picks below in our comments section and also join us on Twitter with #RuggaChamps

Lastly, please give this post a share on the social links provided and show your rugga friends you care!

#welovesports #wedontsugarcoatit

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