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BLEDISLOE CUP 2018 – GAME 1
Wallabies vs All Blacks Rugby
Game day: Saturday 25th August 2018
Kickoff Time: 8:05pm (AEST)
Location: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The Wallabies will attempt to defend their home ground against the mighty All Blacks in the opening match of the Bledisloe Cup. Many players consider the Bledisloe Cup more difficult to win than the World Cup with Will Genia describing it as the ‘pinnacle’ of rugby union.
The market has the Kiwis as the red-hot favourite for the series opener which this year will feature a neutral stadium in the third match.
Nissan Stadium in Yokohama will host the third match with rugby union obviously a hugely popular sport in Japan. This will be the first time since 2010 that a Bledisloe Cup match has been held outside of Australia or New Zealand.
The Wolf calls it like he sees it and there is a reason the Wallabies are paying $4.00 to win the opening match at home. The value is great because the task ahead of Australia is difficult. The return of David Pocock in the back row is the ace up the Wallabies sleeve with the Brumbies star shining in the recent series against Ireland.
Izzy Folau has confirmed that he will be wearing the fullback jersey in the first match despite some rumors he might be moving to the center after Curtis Rona was cut from the squad. Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has also been cleared to play after he suffered a hamstring injury in the first test against Ireland.
The All Blacks are coming off a 3-0 series win against France in June and have traveled earlier to Australia because past experience shows that the time spent together as a team has translated to success on the field.
The last two matches in Sydney have been 42-8 and 54-34 wins to the Kiwis which has put the Wallabies on the back foot traveling into hostile enemy territory needing a win.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Kiwis dominated the 2017 Bledisloe Cup winning the series 2-1. Whilst they may be the clear underdog, the Wallabies will come out swinging. There is pride on the line and a rich history of Australian rugby to defend. Once the game settles down it will take a monumental performance from Australia to cause an upset based on the All Blacks recent record.
This match will be won at the breakdown, with the aerial battle a point of controversy, suspension and injury in both recent series against Ireland (vs Australia) and France (vs New Zealand).
The Kiwis have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003 and the Wolf doesn’t see that changing this year. An opening win to the All Blacks.