The All Blacks have not lost a test at Eden Park since 1994, and everything is pointing towards that trend continuing tonight.
The amount of talk in the media this week surrounding this test match against the Wallabies has been staggering. Richie McCaw has admitted that the pressure to perform at Eden Park tonight has been more intense, and quite simply and frankly, nothing short of a convincing victory will satisfy a very opinionated New Zealand public.
The All Blacks played poorly last week in Sydney, and the referee cannot be blamed for that.
The Wallabies were the better team, and if not for some brilliant defense, the only positive from an All Black point of view, the Wallabies would have left Sydney with a well deserved victory.
But any hopes of the Wallabies finally winning the Bledisloe Cup back are dashed, because the All Blacks will win tonight.
Home soil, fine weather suited for running rugby, an All Blacks side who believe they lost last week, and the fact that the game is being played at Eden Park. Eden Park is a fortress of success, the All Blacks losing there would be enough of a shock in itself.
This is enough to easily predict the result. The All Blacks should win, and it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if the game was a total blowout.
But with all this, exactly how well the All Blacks will play versus how badly the Wallabies will implode is still a very tough prediction to try to make.
Now frankly speaking, the Wallabies are usually a team that constantly gets themselves into positions to score tries and take the upper hand in in games against the All Blacks, and with rare exception, this side finds a way to implode in on themselves and not score any points. Opportunities missed is a common theme when the Wallabies wonder why they don’t beat the All Blacks in games.
Despite being the better team last weekend, the Wallabies were guilty of the same old implosions last week as well.
The Eden Park factor seems to be something that the Wallabies think about, and something the media play on. The Wallabies have not beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park since 1986. That is nearly 30 years ladies and gentleman.
In closing, it will be a shocker if the All Blacks don’t win this test match.
McCaw compared tonights game to the 2008 matchup where the All Blacks had been beaten in Sydney the week earlier, and that comment alone tells the nation that this is an All Blacks side which feels like it lost. Look at the history of All Black rugby, but more importantly look at the history of All Black rugby at Eden Park.
A bad performance two weeks in a row just doesn’t happen all that often.
The Wallabies will start well, but this will be an All Blacks side that will be too physical over the course of the match. Lets hope the referee allows a fast running game of rugby.
The All Blacks by at least 10 points.