I have just watched the winners of this autumn’s Rugby World Cup. I cannot see how anyone will stop New Zealand from winning successive Webb Ellis Cups.
Other than one lapse in the last few minutes, New Zealand dominated Australia in every department of this morning’s game. I watch a lot of southern hemisphere rugby and the game is on a different level to anything that European countries can offer.
With players like Ma’a Nonu, Dan Carter and captain Richie McCaw, not to mention the most agile and fastest Hooker I have ever seen, Dane Coles, the All Blacks don’t seem to have any vulnerabilities.
Sadly, in the run-up to the World Cup, South Africa have not impressed. Unless there is a fundamental change in approach and personnel, not least at outside half, I cannot see the Springboks progressing beyond the semifinals.
Last week Australia beat the All Blacks, but on the evidence of today’s match between the two countries, which New Zealand won by 41 points to 13, they might as well engrave ‘New Zealand’ on the trophy.
In spite of today’s rout, Australia are still number two in the world. South Africa, on their day, can beat anyone, but even at their best, New Zealand would have to have an off day for me to be celebrating a Boks World Cup win on 31st October.
As for England, a quarter or semi-final is not beyond them, but they won’t cope with the ferocity, athleticism and physicality of the southern hemisphere countries.