Five reasons the awesome All Blacks make rugby history tonight against the Wallabies at Eden Park

OPINION: It’s understandable that there are a few nerves about regarding the All Blacks’ latest tilt at this elusive world record for consecutive test victories by a tier one nation at Eden Park tonight.

They’ve been close before − three times in the last half-dozen years − and have fallen at one of the final few hurdles. Significantly, the side that did the tripping up on each of those occasions was the Wallabies. Deja-vu anyone?

Also, these end-of-campaign type fixtures have a way of catching the All Blacks unawares, or just plain tired. They’ve just steamrolled through the Rugby Championship, winning six out of six, scoring 38 tries to five, 262 points to 84, and played some of the most exhilarating, skilful and awe-inspiring rugby we’ve seen from this storied side.

Everything points to Kieran Read and the All Blacks racking up test win No 18 in a row on Eden Park tonight.

But is this add-on fixture, with the Bledisloe already tucked away, a potential banana skin? Recent history suggests it’s one the All Blacks can lose their focus for.

In the equivalent fixture in 2014, in Brisbane, the All Blacks needed an injury-time Malakai Fekitoa try and nerveless Colin Slade conversion to get up 29-28.
In 2013, in Dunedin, the New Zealanders prevailed 41-33, but went decidedly off the boil in the second half.

In 2012, in Brisbane, it was 18-18 as the Aussies snapped a 16-test NZ win streak. You get the picture.

But this year is different. This team is different. And the circumstances are decidedly special.

So here are five reasons the All Blacks take care of business at Eden Park tonight with an 18th victory on the bounce, and finally cross of that record for a major test nation.

1. It’s Eden Park

The All Blacks just don’t lose here. And the Wallabies just don’t win here (against New Zealand anyway). The records are well documented. The ABs have not lost a test at their Garden of Eden since 1994’s 23-20 defeat to France. They drew their next one a few weeks later against the Boks, and since have rattled off 35 consecutive victories, including a World Cup triumph in 2011. Conversely, the Aussies haven’t rolled their trans-Tasman rivals at their Auckland citadel since 1986, which is a span of 16 tests. Moreover they haven’t won on this side of the ditch since 2001, which is a run of 19 defeats on the hop.

They’re just numbers, and we all know records are made to be beaten (just ask these All Blacks). But they’re significant marks. The confidence the New Zealanders have on this ground breeds success, and conversely it will not take much for the Australian belief bubble to burst, knowing how many times they have tasted defeat at this venue. It’s just one factor, but given all the other advantages Steve Hansen’s men have, it’s a hugely significant one.

2. All about the attitude

Previously the All Blacks have taken a “gee shucks” approach whenever they’ve got near this record win streak mark, and refused to embrace it as a principal motivating factor. It flat-out hasn’t worked for them. So this time round they’re hugging the heck out of this record win streak, and not ducking the significance of the occasion.

But don’t take my word for it. Here is Hansen: “The biggest adjustment is we’ve actually acknowledged it to ourselves. It’s something we learned at Rugby World Cups. Once we embraced the fact there is constant pressure that seemed to ease the pressure a bit. So going to the World Cup and saying this is what we want to achieve and saying it out loud to ourselves, it became easier.

“Once you embrace something like that it becomes a challenge, and this group has shown it likes challenges, especially big ones. We’ve got two choices: we can try ignore it and enjoy it if happens; or we can say ‘this is an opportunity’. We’ve chosen to say this is an opportunity, and what are we going to do about it.”

3. Beauden Barrett

Right now this remarkable rugby player is assuredly the best player on the planet. Sure, he’s playing behind a fabulous pack who give him some gilt-edged ball to run on to, and he’s surrounded by intuitive attacking geniuses in the backline. But if there’s one man who can turn a game on its head it’s this bloke, with his dazzling footwork, incredible turn of speed, fabulous vision and incredible instincts.

He had four tries in the Rugby Championship, and seven try assists. He makes things happen. He also runs a very tidy game and, he tells us, is working hard at improving his goalkicking. In an All Blacks team full of difference-makers, this guy stands supreme. Just sit back and enjoy him in this form.

4. The All Black forwards

Hansen made a beautiful point at his press conference this week when he was talking about why the 1967 All Blacks were his greatest team, and it’s worth revisiting. “If you think about the loose forwards that played, the big locks and even in the front row, that team had forwards who could carry the ball. They’re probably a team that said to New Zealand rugby, ‘hey this is not a bad way to play, we need our forwards to be able to carry’. Whenever All Black teams have forwards who can carry the ball constructively and pass and catch, they’re a very good team.”

Now think about Brodie Retallick, who is not only the best lock in the game, but might even be in the conversation with the great Sir Colin Meads. Also Dane Coles, who has rewritten the parameters of the modern hooker. And throw in Jerome Kaino and Kieran Read and Ardie Savea and Charlie Faumuina and Sam Whitelock … these All Black forwards can carry, pass and catch like few others the game has seen. And right now no one can live with them on that score.

5. Wallaby woe

There is always the opposition to factor in. They can have a great day. They can take the game away from the best of teams. They can unfurl a tactical masterpiece. But can these Wallabies?

They’ve won just three of nine tests in 2016, they’ve been thumped twice already by the All Blacks this year, they’re packed full of either inexperienced sorts taking their baby steps in test rugby, or out-of-form campaigners whose best days appear behind them. And their confidence levels are as low as they’ve been in a long time.

Someone is going to beat these All Blacks eventually. They’ll make their tackles. Keep the game tight. Deny them the front-foot ball they need. Attack them at the set piece. But that just doesn’t feel like these Wallabies. Just too ordinary, too limited to seize their moment of greatness.

– Stuff

The All Blacks have the chance to make history on Saturday

The All Blacks have the chance to make history with a tier one record of 18 straight Test victories when they take on Australia in Saturday’s Bledisloe Test, presented by American Express.
Since taking out Australia 41-13 at Eden Park on August 15 2015, the All Blacks have marched to 17 straight victories.

The winning streak includes the 2015 Rugby World Cup crown, the 2016 Investec Rugby Championship and retention of both the Bledisloe Cup and Freedom Cup in 2016.

A win over Australia on Saturday will eclipse the All Blacks longest two previous winning streaks of 17 which were recorded between 1965-1970 and 2013-2014.


Game 17
October 9 2016: All Blacks 57 South Africa 15
Durban, South Africa

Game 16
October 2 2016: All Blacks 36 Argentina 17
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Game 15
September 17 2016: All Blacks 41 South Africa 13
Christchurch, NZ

Game 14
September 10 2016: All Blacks 57 Argentina 22
Hamilton, NZ

Game 13
August 27 2016: All Blacks 29 Australia 9
Wellington, NZ

Game 12
August 20 2016: All Blacks 42 Australia 8
Sydney, Australia

Game 11
June 25 2016: All Blacks 46 Wales 6
Dunedin, NZ

Game 10
June 18 2016: All Blacks 36 Wales 22
Wellington, NZ

Game 9
June 11 2016: All Blacks 39 Wales 21
Auckland, NZ

Game 8
November 1 2015: All Blacks 34 Australia 17
London, England (RWC final)

Game 7
October 25 2015: All Blacks 20 South Africa 18
London, England (RWC semifinal)

Game 6
October 18 2015: All Blacks 62 France 13
Cardiff, France (RWC quarterfinal)

Game 5
October 10 2015: All Blacks 47 Tonga 9
Newcastle, England (RWC pool game)

Game 4
October 3 2015: All Blacks 43 Georgia 10
Cardiff, Wales (RWC pool game)

Game 3
September 25 2015: All Blacks 58 Namibia 14
London, England (RWC pool game)

Game 2
September 21 2015: All Blacks 26 Argentina 16
London, England (RWC pool game)

Game 1
August 15 2015: All Blacks 41 Australia 13
Auckland, NZ

NOTE: The overall Test winning streak record of 24 consecutive wins is held by Cyprus


Young woman’s bursary offered at Academy of Sound Engineering in W Cape

A young woman’s bursary is to be offered at Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE )

ASE are excited to announce that we are offering a bursary for a young woman to study in 2017.

The successful application will be able to start her career in Music Production, Live Sound, Broadcasting or Sound to Picture.

To apply for the bursary in the 3 year Diploma in Audio Technology, the following basic requirements apply: 1) Must be a South African female living in the Western Cape

2) Be currently in Matric (2016) or graduated last year (2015), 3) Minimum academic average of 70%.

To apply and get more info, please contact us on capetown with the subject: Bursary for young woman.

Application closes 21 November 2016

The programme for 15th Oct. (Saturday ) African Hip Hop Indaba.

Tickets R50. Call 0823958125 or emileyx to book yours.

All Blacks in Durban test preview -My two cents worth -All Blacks by 15

THE All Blacks have had a regal presence in Durban this week that you would expect from ultra champions, with curious onlookers never far from their team hotel and training field to get a glimpse of a truly champion team.

Seldom has Durban sold out for a Test match in the professional era but that is the case as even Springbok supporters flock to see a rare chance of the back-to-back World Cup champions in action at Kings Park tomorrow.

And after the Kiwis’ historic World Cup triumph at Twickenham this time last year and their unbeaten run in 2016, there is another milestone in their sights tomorrow in that they can equal the world record of 17 Test wins (for tier one nations) that is shared by two previous All Blacks vintages plus the Springboks of 1997/98.

To their credit, the Kiwis this week for once have admitted that an outside motivation is accompanying their usual unshakeable focus on winning each and every Test match.

They want this win more than most, according to coach Steve Hansen who said that if this current group wanted to be recalled as great, “then they have to do something ‘great’, and getting this record will confirm them as being more than just another All Black team.”

In other words, Kings Park must fasten its seat belt. The Kiwis are coming and they are determined to conquer.

Let’s clutch at straws. The Springboks at least have history on their side. The All Blacks have played eight Tests in Durban and lost five of them, the last of them in 2009 when current Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn scored all 31 points in a 31-18 win.

He and Bryan Habana are the only players remaining from that match for the Boks, and the faithful will see that as an omen. But that is all that it is.

A more current and sobering reflection is that the All Blacks take the field tomorrow having scored a staggering 29 tries this season, and a record 205 points (for them) in a season, with this match to go.

In their path will be a highly motivated Springbok side that will take hope from the manner in which they combated the All Blacks in the first half of the corresponding match in Christchurch earlier this year plus the belief that came from a character-building win over the Aussies last week in Pretoria.

Grasping at straws? Many would say so.

‘Yes we are playing against the world’s best team. They have had the most continuity in coaching staff and players, and have great systems,” Coetzee said. “But our motivation comes from within and is not external. We are not out to try and prove the world wrong because we are being written off. That is not how we operate as Springboks. We understand history and we respect our rivalry with the All Blacks.

“We will be up for this game, we love and understand the magnitude of a Springbok v All Blacks Test match in South Africa. We have learned from Christchurch that we cannot flinch for a second over the 80 minutes,” Coetzee said.

“This week will crucially come down to gain-line dominance, that is what we are preparing for,” the coach added. “We know we can more than hold on our own in the set pieces, but to negate their lethal attacking ability, we have to rule the gain line and the set pieces.”

Coetzee added that in respect of the gain line, he was hopeful that French referee Jérôme Garcès, would police the advancing All Blacks loose forwards.

As far as his team selection, Coetzee has had mixed fortunes, although he would have known early in the week that Jesse Kriel would not recover and that Habana would.

Habana’s inclusion is a big lift for the Boks. He is a proven match winner and a player with genuine aura. As expected, Faf de Klerk returns at scrumhalf for injured Rudy Paige and the unavailability of Jesse Kriel means yet another new midfield combination, although this one looks more promising than most of the combinations that have started this season.

Damian de Allende is in his preferred position of No 12 and Juan de Jongh in his best position of 13.

Springboks – 15 Pat Lambie, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux.

All Blacks – 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.

Subs: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 George Moala

By Mike Greenaway

PS Thank heavens for the Boks sake the bloke on the right is retired ,but Steve Hansen on the left is still around -My two cents worth -All Blacks by 15

The All Blacks team to play South Africa at Kings Park, Durban, on Saturday 8 October, has been named.

The All Blacks team to play South Africa in the final Investec Rugby Championship Test at Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban, on Saturday 8 October, has been named.
The matchday 23 is (with Test caps in brackets):

1. Joe Moody (18)
2. Dane Coles (44) -pictured

3. Owen Franks (85)
4. Brodie Retallick (55)
5. Samuel Whitelock (80)
6. Jerome Kaino (72)
7. Matt Todd (4)
8. Kieran Read – captain (92)
9. TJ Perenara (24)
10. Beauden Barrett (44)
11. Waisake Naholo (7)
12. Ryan Crotty (22)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (4)
14. Israel Dagg (56)
15. Ben Smith (56)

16. Codie Taylor (9)
17. Wyatt Crockett (53)
18. Charlie Faumuina (40)
19. Liam Squire (4)
20. Ardie Savea (7)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (22)
22. Lima Sopoaga (4)
23. George Moala (2)

The matchday 23 features several changes to the side which beat Argentina in Buenos Aires last weekend.


In the forwards, lock Sam Whitelock moves from the bench to the starting five jersey, replacing Patrick Tuipulotu; loose forward Jerome Kaino is back in the six jersey, with Liam Squire moving to the replacements; while Matt Todd takes over the seven jersey from Ardie Savea, who also moves to the replacements. Charlie Faumuina replaces Ofa Tu’ungafasi as one of the replacement props.

In the backs, wing Waisake Naholo returns to the matchday 23 replacing Julian Savea in the 11 jersey. George Moala is the only other backs change in the matchday 23, coming in for Damian McKenzie in the replacements.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “The selectors believe we have picked a strong combination for this Test. We’ve been able to bring fresh players back into the group which is vital at this time of the year and allows us to continue to grow some depth.

“We are especially looking forward to this game as any Test match against South Africa is seen as one of the matches of the season. We’re expecting to be facing a very confident South African team after their win over Australia, and a torrid battle against our traditional foe. We’re expecting them to throw the kitchen sink at us,” Hansen said.

“We’ve had a well-planned preparation this week, with the aim of ensuring that we have a full tank come Saturday, and also clarity in our game so that we can bring our own physicality and intensity to the contest.”

All Blacks v South Africa – key facts

* The All Blacks and South Africa have played each other 92 times, with 54 wins to the All Blacks, 35 to South Africa and three draws. The most recent match was the 41-13 Investec Rugby Championship win to the All Blacks in Christchurch last month.
* Durban hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the All Blacks throughout history: they have played there eight times, most recently in 2009, with a record of five losses and three wins. Five of the six previous meetings at Kings Park have been decided by fewer than 10 points.
* As well as already winning the Investec Rugby Championship, the All Blacks have also scored a Rugby Championship record of 29 tries in a season and a record 205 points in a season.
* With his five pointer last weekend, Ben Smith became the first international player to score six tries in Test matches this year.

Don’t miss out Lana Crowster at GrandWest 3 shows only 13 .14.15 OCT

Don’t miss out Lana Crowster at GrandWest 3 shows only

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