Castle Lager Rugby Championship 2013 preview
We are closing in on the Castle Lager Rugby Championship at rapid pace with just over 3 weeks before the first round of games. This will be the second addition of the Championship and last year delivered some exciting ans at times suprising results.
The All Blacks
Current holders of the title and as yet undefeated in the competition with 6/6. They had an impressive run in June against France and only lost one game last year against England. As always should be favourites to win the title, but have been known to go through slumps. Their key players are Richie McCaw and Dan Carter although as a team you can’t write them off even when these two are injured. Knows how to manage possession and territory. An exciting backline both on defence and attack. A good forward pack that holds it own. Only possible weakness comes at line out time.
Last year saw them draw against Argentina for the first time ever and they ended 3rd. New coach and management with a load of new players didn’t really help them. This year they will be more settled, but will be missing some key players due to overseas contracts. Still a team that can beat the best on any given day. Defensively sound and with Willie le Roux at fullback expect some brilliance on attack. Sound forward pack with brilliant set piece play. They have won 6 games in a row and looks like building into a tight unit.
Might have finished 2nd last year but it was purely due to chance. Have not had the best of runs of late. Still never write them off. Their defence is looking suspect. In the forwards their is some room for improvement and they are under new choaches and management. This year might see them falter but it is not a given. Key players have been lost and they are rebuilding.
The new kids on the block impressed last year. It will however take another couple of years before they become true contenders. Their attack is lacking and they can leak on defence. A strong forward pack that stand up to any other team in the world. At home they are dangerous, but they don’t travel well. Has shown that they can cause upsets if underestimated.
The All Blacks and Springboks will probably slug it out for the top spot with Australia coming in 3rd. Argentina might however suprise against a struggling Australian side and steal 3rd from them. It all depends on how well they play against each other. Still I’m giving it to the All Blacks as they are the moist settled and balanced side at the moment.
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