Pick the Score: All Blacks v Wales

The Man in the Stand November 24, 2012, 8:16 pm

Players returning from injury is commonplace but a coach doing the same is a rare occurrence.

But that's exactly the scenario that Welsh rugby fans will be hoping pulls their team out of a miserable, recent slump which has resulted in embarrassing, consecutive losses to both Argentina and Scotland.

Warren Gatland, one of the best New Zealand coaches to ply his trade offshore has returned to resume command over Wales and prepare them for this test against the All Blacks in Cardiff.

After fracturing both his ankles severely in an awful fall at Waihi Beach during a holiday there, the man from the Waikato has only now been able to again fulfil all of the duties that are demanded of an elite coach.

Gatland has undoubtedly reinvigorated Welsh rugby since his tenure began in 2007.

This rebirth in performance and pride was no more evident than when Wales came so close to playing the All Blacks in the 2011 World Cup Final and then rule supreme in the 2012 Six Nations Championship.

And only a few months back, a confident, plucky Wales gave the Wallabies a real fright, running the Aussies desperately close in all three tests in Australia.

All of which explains that despite the weak Welsh displays in their last two tests, the All Blacks won't bring a whiff of over-confidence to the occasion when they run out onto the Millennium Stadium to face the Red Dragons in a few hours time.

That's also why Steve Hansen was always going to select his best XV for this clash and put an end to the brief bout of rotation that he indulged in against both Scotland and Italy.

Behind all the success of the men-in-black under Hansen has been the magical blend of experience and youth, ranging from the champion warrior, Richie McCaw who will play test number 115 to the sensational rookie, Julian Savea with just seven tests to date.

Unfortunately, Wales has many of its' top players unavailable through injury and even though there is still a good amount of experience included, I strongly suspect they will lack sufficient pace, power and accuracy to bring this fanatical rugby country victory against the team it craves to beat the most.

I now invite your predictions in this Pick the Score Competition.

If you are the first entrant to correctly 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 entries will close at 5 am, our time Sunday morning with the test due to kick off at 6.15 am, our time.

Good luck with your picks.

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48 Comments

  1. Denise04:14am Sunday 25th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    29 AB 12 wales

    Reply
  2. Jim04:05am Sunday 25th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    ALL BLACKS 34-17

    Reply
  3. ELIZABETH04:05am Sunday 25th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    ab 12 wales 18

    Reply
  4. Jocelyn04:01am Sunday 25th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    ABs 44 Wales 10

    Reply
  5. Richard02:15am Sunday 25th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    ab12 wales9

    Reply
  6. Julia and Ross01:08am Sunday 25th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    ab 36 wales 12

    Reply
  7. Johnny Shamrock11:24pm Saturday 24th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    AB's 30 Wales 22

    Reply
  8. Michel11:09pm Saturday 24th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    All Blacks28 Wales26

    Reply
  9. Russell Ernest10:47pm Saturday 24th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    AB 41 - 19 Wales

    Reply

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