New Zealand vs South Africa Live : New Zealand vs South Africa Live Stream, The Rugby World Cup is finally here, The long-awaited kickoff has arrived, with Japan running out victors over the Russians just as expected in the opening match – albeit in unconvincing fashion in a very scrappy affair. Hat-trick hero Kotaru Matsushima was the star of the show, although there were several other strong performances.
To whet the rugby enthusiast’s appetite a little more, we have been given a couple of interesting match-ups in Fiji versus the Wallabies Wallabies and France versus Argentina as the pre-entertainment to the main event later this evening.The Wallabies may be a little worried about this Test but considering they are on a 14-match winning streak over the Fijians, it will be a tough ask for the Pacific Islanders to register a win here. But this is rugby and stranger things have happened, if the bounce of the ball goes their way and if they can upset the set piece you never know.
Moving onto tonight’s game in what many describe as the greatest rivalry in rugby, the All Blacks up against the Springboks. It’s by far the most anticipated fixture of the opening round and for good reason.
These two rugby-mad nations have clashed four times previously in Rugby World Cup history, always in the knock-out stages, with the ledger currently standing at two games apiece. The last meeting came in the 2015 semi-final when New Zealand prevailed 20-18 in a heart-in-your-mouth encounter involving a sin bin each, a Dan Carter drop goal and two tries to nil in the victors’ favour.
The All Blacks have never lost a pool stage game, winning all 28 such fixtures, and will be looking to keep that record in tack. South Africa have only lost two of their 22 group matches, one of which came at the last World Cup against Japan in possibly the greatest shock in tournament history.
The last four encounters between these two have been decided by a margin of no greater than two points, including a 16-16 draw in their most recent clash in Wellington. But before any of you South African fans get too confident, remember the match before these four the Springboks failed to register a point, in a 57-0 drubbing in New Zealand.Both teams have named strong squads to take the field this evening:
B Barrett, Reece, Lienert-Brown, Crotty, Bridge, Mo’unga, Smith, Moody, Coles, Laulala, Whitelock, S Barrett, Savea, Cane, Read (c).
Replacements: Taylor, Tu’ungafasi, Ta’avao, Tuipulotu, Frizell, Perenara, Williams, Smith.
Le Roux, Kolbe, Am, De Allende, Mapimpi, Pollard, De Klerk; Kitshoff, Marx, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi (c), Du Toit, Vermeulen.
Replacements: Mbonambi, Mtawarira, Nyakane, Snyman, Louw, H Jantjies, Steyn, Kriel.
The South Africans will be primed for this game, coming off their recent Rugby Championship success and both teams will be itching to win their opening fixture to avoid a likely quarter-final clash with Ireland – who are now the number one ranked team in the world, after bringing Wales’ short stay at the top to an end.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.Given Richie McCaw, 34, and Dan Carter, 33, were not exactly a liability at the last World Cup, however, the All Black management are optimistic the doubts raised by their side’s 47-26 defeat to Australia in Perth last month will be swiftly quashed.
“It’s the same noise we heard last time,” sighed Hansen this week. “You get two types, I reckon. You get those who definitely don’t want us to win because it’s not in their interests. Then you get the other group who desperately want us to win and they’re all nervous because we haven’t played any games. As soon as we get this tournament under way we’ll get rid of all that peripheral noise.”
Maybe. Wherever they go, the All Blacks never get to wear the cloak of anonymity or enjoy the luxury of sneaking under the radar. This time around, though, the pre-tournament “noise” has been perfectly fair and legitimate. The great Brodie Retallick is still missing with a shoulder problem and a number of other teams, South Africa included, look more threatening than they did four years ago.
There can be no disputing, for starters, the dynamism of South Africa’s ball carriers once they get on to the front foot. Duane Vermeulen, winning his 50th cap in the Springbok back row, may be a similar vintage to Read but he has been outstanding under Rassie Erasmus. The hooker Malcolm Marx and the lock Eben Etzebeth will take similarly few steps backwards, with the influential Sale scrum-half Faf du Plessis deftly directing the monster trucks in front of him.