It's the least hype build-up to a Bledisloe Test that I can recall.
That's undoubtedly due to the fact that the Olympics have commanded precedence for the last few weeks.
I think it's also something to do with the easy-beat tag that the Wallabies have become labelled with in against the All Blacks, especially since Robbie Deans took charge.
And no matter how much we love dealing to the Aussies, the rivalry inevitably loses its edge when the record becomes so one-sided.
Nobody is more aware of that than Deans who has only produced a pitiful 20% win ratio over the All Blacks during his tenure.
Lack of edge transforms into lack of interest and given the intense competition amongst top Australian sport for attention and financial support, Robbie Deans knows he cannot last much longer if the wins don't come thicker and much faster.So what chance does Deans have against an All Blacks outfit that looks as strong on paper as you'd expect from the team that dealt out that 60-nil hiding against Ireland in their last outing.
Not much I reckon.This is a Wallabies XV that contains no less than eight of the mediocre, 2012 Waratahs mob.
Plus a team that has such uncertainty and debate hanging over the first-five position is worse off for that predicament.
Just ask any Blues fan.
I reckon the Wallabies defence will hold up for a while but then expect the men in black will find their way through in decisive fashion.
Our backline looks lethal assuming Nonu and Williams click while our forward pack exudes power and aggression.
And as critical a factor as any are the comparative strengths of the reserves.
Now, I'd like to put your picking prowess to the test in this Pick the Score competition.
If you are the first entrant to send in the winner / loser and correct scoreline,
I will send you a $100 Lone Star Cafe and Bar voucher.
One entry per person and this competition will close at 9 pm NZ time with the test due to kick off at 10 pm.Good luck with your picks.