The Freckles should He is expected to challenge for victory on Saturday, but under fire All are black more than capable of causing shock.
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The Boks haven’t often played against the All Blacks as favourites, but that seems to be the overwhelming opinion of the general public.
New Zealand were awful in the last two games of the July Test series against Ireland, while the Boks left their best in the last match against Wales.
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Logically, the Springboks should have too much firepower than the All Blacks up front, but it seems foolish to think it will be a one-sided result on Saturday.
So what result can be expected?
Below are our Springboks vs All Blacks predictions
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I would expect to get a lot of hate mail from Springbok fans for this point of view, but I just have a sneaking suspicion that an under-fire All Blacks team could be a dangerous animal on Saturday.
The All Blacks have made major changes to their new-look front row, while the selection of Caleb Clarke on the wing could be a game changer.
In the last six Test matches between the Boks and the All Blacks, the two bitter rivals are separated by just 10 points.
My feeling is that this will be another incredibly tight affair and will likely be decided at a crucial moment late in the game, often when the All Blacks are at their most lethal.
With so much pressure and criticism on the All Blacks after their series defeat to Ireland, this is a match where a wounded team may just find another kit.
Unfortunately, I think the Boks will have a strong response and could very well suffer a painful defeat by the minimum score. From a South African point of view, hopefully I’m wrong, but I just can’t shake this sneaking suspicion that the All Blacks will put in a great performance against the team they always support.
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HARIN LAMBLY’S FORECAST: Springboks win by four
The heart says “Freckles” and the head – “Freckles”!
The world champions have everything going into this first of back-to-back Tests against the All Blacks: form, history, height and perhaps most importantly, one of the worst All Blacks teams of all time on paper (and form).
If the Springboks can repeat anything close to what they did in suffocating Wales in their third and deciding clash in Cape Town, it will be too much for an All Blacks team – and coach – under immense pressure.
The Springboks have never tasted defeat at Mbambela Stadium – and that will not change after the final whistle on Saturday at around 7pm.
Expect hurling, up and down kicks, box tackles and an “ugly” Springboks win in an encounter not to be missed.
It kicks off at 5:05pm and, as always, is the best place to follow the action ALIVE is on the South African site.
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