After an enthralling draw in the series opener in Wellington last weekend, the Bledisloe Cup now heads to Auckland for a mouth-watering game two.
The four-game series now effectively becomes a three-match affair, with Australia now only needing to win two tests in order to reclaim the silverware they surrendered all the way back in 2003.
Rieko Ioane, who was dropped to bench midfield cover, has been ruled out of Sunday’s clash with a tweaked hamstring. Wellington midfielder Peter Umaga-Jensen has been named as his replacement and is poised for an international debut, should he take the field at Eden Park.
Where: Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
NZ TAB odds (as of Sunday PM): All Blacks $1.13, Wallabies $5.65
All Blacks: Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Goodhue, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (c), Shannon Frizell, Tupou Vaa’i, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tuungafasi, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Damian McKenzie.
Wallabies: Tom Banks, Filipo Daugunu, Hunter Paisami, Matt To’omua, Marika Koroibete, James O’Connor, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Michael Hooper (c), Ned Hanigan, Matt Philip, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper. Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Liam Wright, Jake Gordon, Jordan Petaia, Reece Hodge.
Phil Walter/Getty Images
The All Blacks bounced back from a disappointing draw to beat the Wallabies at Eden Park.
Prediction: The Wallabies were choosing their words carefully post-match in Wellington, about being disappointed they couldn’t close out a victory, but behind closed doors you can bet they are a side full of confidence and pride after running the All Blacks that close. Facing them now is an All Blacks side who will be desperate to respond, and who are back at their fortress, where they haven’t lost for 43 tests, and where the Wallabies haven’t rolled them since 1986. If the weather plays ball, expect conditions to not be so much of a leveller this time out. New Zealand still showed how utterly lethal they can be in punishing opponents for the smallest of errors, but the hosts’ forward pack are going to have to bring a step up in physicality against the Dave Rennie-inspired Aussies. All Blacks by 10.