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20. September 2019 um 21:03 #2748aedwedw34r3Gast
Anyone who says New Zealand’s opening game against South Africa will have no bearing on the outcome of the 2019 Rugby World Cup is either ducking reality or being wilfully evasive. Should the All Blacks lose their first pool fixture in World Cup history it will be a major deal, both for the nations concerned and every other tournament contender.
Link 1 >> https://t.co/7EEhhRAJRZ?amp=1
While the All Blacks head coach, Steve Hansen, insists the beaten side can still gallop to glory on the same stretch of turf in Yokohama on 2 November, he knows the importance of World Cup momentum more than most. No previous champions have ever lost first up and still gone on to hoist the Webb Ellis Cup. At World Cups the slow-starting tortoise rarely overhauls the hare.
An armchair guide to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan
The Springboks are a decent case study: in 1995 and 2007 it was their respective morale-boosting early wins against Australia and England that catapulted them towards their greatest triumphs. Not without reason have they chosen to kick off in Japan with their strongest, most settled XV, all hungry for a plateful of thinly-sliced Kiwi sashimi.
There is, of course, a flip side. A comprehensive defeat would puncture South Africa’s genuine pre-tournament optimism and suggest New Zealand’s potential vulnerability has been exaggerated. There continues to be a sense, even so, that the defending champions will have to dig deeper than ever this time. A glance at the ages of the two starting XVs reinforces the point: the All Blacks’ walk-on team contains no fewer than six players aged over 30, compared with two in the opposition ranks. Kieran Read and Ben Smith are 33 while Sonny Bill Williams is 34. Japan is home to the world’s most elderly population and Hansen’s selection is fitting in nicely.