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Rugga Champs Watch – Round 4

With only two rounds left after this week and probably not much to play for we look ahead to round 4 of this year’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship, which is turning into a race for second place honours if anything at all.

The All Blacks are more than likely sealing up the Championship this weekend against a Springbok team that are looking more out of sorts than ever before, while Australia and Argentina will battle it out to narrow the race for second place.

One thing that is certain besides the All Blacks claiming another series is that we have four nations with supporters of mixed emotions and none for the same reason.

Saturday 15 September 2018 – All Blacks v Springboks, Westpac Stadium 09h35*

Same song different weekend as the All Blacks welcome their “fiercest” foe to Wellington on Saturday and a chance to put the Championship to bed once and for all in 2018.

Many have asked this week if Steve Hansen will play a stronger or weakened All Black side against the Springboks this weekend and my answer to that, does the All Blacks have a weak side which they could select? The depth of the number one rugby team in the world is so far down that one can hardly imagine that.

Rassie Erasmus and his coaching staff on the other hand are facing the complete opposite of that as in they are completely out of their depth at this stage and after this weekend one would probably wonder what remains of the “Springbok Dream”.

In all honesty, what has happened over the last couple of weeks has just made the few true rugby understanding supporters very aware of the huge issues we as a once feared rugby nation are confronted by.

Our problems aren’t the Springboks or the players or our Captain or lack of aforementioned…our problems are the systems and so called structures we have in place, which once was the one thing we were so revered for as a rugby fraternity.

None of what Rassie and his team are trying to achieve will be possible if we don’t start getting our house in order so to speak.

Focussing back on the game this weekend it is safe to say the only question to be asked is by how far the All Blacks will beat the Boks?

Besides that question, I want to say that if the All Blacks are willing to drop the gauntlet on the Springboks this weekend it won’t just be a death defying score line that will be of concern but probably the end of some Springbok players too.

Best advice to any and all South African’s wanting to watch this game on Saturday, would be to be a supportive husband and or children and go help Mom with her grocery shopping or maybe a round of golf with the mates.

PREDICTION: All Blacks by 23 plus 10 cause it sounds less painful that way…

Saturday 15 September 2018 – Australia v Argentina, Cbus Super Stadium 12h00*

Some are calling this Michael Cheika’s final match in charge of the Wallabies as they prepare to clash with Mario Ledesma’s Los Pumas in Robina on the Gold Coast of Australia.

As his South African rival Rassie Erasmus, Cheika is struggling to find any form with his team although beating the Springboks a week ago in a nail biter of a match which his team happily scraped only because their opposition was so error ridden.

This week however they are facing an Argentina team who is playing some of the most enterprising rugby the world has seen in recent times and are backed by many to collect their first victory on Aussie soil ever.

If Ledesma’s men can continue on the positive curve they have shown in their last two matches then its tickets for Cheika, but would the ARU (Australian Rugby Union) risk so much only a year out from rugby’s biggest showpiece?

One thing is certain though, if you aint going to watch the All Blacks vs Springboks match then best you get front row seats for this one. Tempers are bound to fly along with a few cards possibly but not just that, great running rugby will be on the cards as well as both teams have pretty dynamic backlines that will be eager to give the ball some air.

We are backing the Argies to cause the not so upset of the weekend in this game.

PREDICTION: Argentina by 7

BONUS CURRIE CUP PICKS

Friday 14 September 2018 – Vodacom Blue Bulls v iCollege Pumas – Blue Bulls by 8

Saturday 15 September 2018 – Xerox Golden Lions v DHL Western Province – Golden Lions by 3

Saturday 15 September 2018 – Tafel Lager Griquas v Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Griquas by 6

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

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