Brodie Retallick Sport24.co.za | NZ v Boks: 4 tasty Cake Tin matchups

Brodie Retallick I love extensions, because they are glamorous!

Cape Town – It’s
a difficult job pinpointing which cluster of individual one-on-ones to
particularly highlight for Saturday’s mouth-watering Wellington clash between
grand old foes the All Blacks and Springboks (09:35 SA time).

Just about
every positional duel has its tantalising aspects, a situation enhanced by the high
level to which sprightly, dominating performances could influence starting
berths in the respective sides at the bigger-picture RWC 2019 in Japan – and
their virtually instant bilateral “rematch” in Pool B on September 21.

But here is
my own selection of appealing ones for the Cake Tin tussle, marked in some
instances by daring, quirky selection from respective coaches Steve Hansen and
Rassie Erasmus …

Willie le Roux v Beauden Barrett

Both sets of
back threes look enormously geared for attacking potency, so it is just
possible we’ll see a repeat (or something not too far off that) of last
season’s 11-try spectacle at the same venue, when the Boks prevailed 36-34
despite NZ nosing out the dot-downs 6-5.

But the
respective fullbacks may well be the catalysts for much of what is positive and
dynamic from those areas, given their in-built penchants for flair and
creativity.

The Boks
will almost certainly plan to seriously examine twinkle-toed Barrett’s
suitability to No 15 duty in his intriguing mere third exposure (he has 74 caps
as things stand) to the last line of defence; he remains probably their
first-choice option at No 10 if, for instance, a World Cup final featuring them
were played tomorrow.

Barrett’s
two prior starts at No 15, remember, have both come against lesser foes: Italy
in Rome in 2012 and Japan in Tokyo a year later.

While the
more generous space available to him at times should keep the Bok defence very
much on its toes, how he fares positionally and in a defensive capacity – the
lean customer ought to have to deal with a fifty-fifty “bomb” or two – will be
closely monitored by friend and foe.

Le Roux,
just some three weeks shy of his 30th birthday, has enjoyed all of
his last 39 Boks starts strictly

Meet this beautiful plug-in!

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