Monday, August 04, 2008

The Big Bounceback

The Red Terror has returned from three weeks in the wilderness. Normal blogging will resume shortly, but only then after I've caught up with the rest of my hectic schedule, y'know -- the stuff we call "life."

And it was a life & death desperation bounceback for the All Blacks this past weekend, as they smashed the Wallabies 39-10 at Fortress Eden on Saturday -- an extraordinary 44-point turnaround after their humiliating 34-17 loss in Sydney a week earlier. The enthralling victory -- and in particular the performance of a All Blacks ruthless forward pack on the front foot, and a coming-of-age performance by blond-mullet-on-the-wagon scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan -- should have warmed the hearts of every fan of New Zealand rugby.

The Tri-Nations resumes in two weeks at Cape Town when the resurgent Blacks will try to take the new "standard they have set for themselves," as skipper Richie McCaw declared it in his post-test wash-up, against the world champ Springboks. The ABs will almost certainly have to win both of their remaining two matches, both away against the Boks and Wallabies, for any possibility to claim the title. The Wallabies were looking good until the Eden Park trip-up, but I don't rate them much a chance to win any of their two tests in South Africa. They simply do not turn up to play with anything close to the same intenstity they do at home, when mommy isn't there to fluff their pillows and tuck them into their beds at night. I hope Robbie Deans fires 'em up to pull a boilover, but just don't see it happening. Which means the Boks sit comfortably in the drivers' seat to hoist the silverware.

Check the multiple links at the right top box for all the details.

And speaking of the Garden of Eden, where I spent many Saturday afternoons of my youth, the All Black vs. Wallaby test on Saturday was the last game before the wrecking ball comes to smash the south-stand and overhaul the bricks 'n mortar for the "New" Eden Park that will host the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Thye New Zealand Herald has a nice computer graphic animation for viewing the new stadium. Click here to view.


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