Despite Trent Barrett being send to the sin bin twice, Australia looked pretty comfortable in their win over Great Britain.
There was a lot of pressure on them heading into this game but as we have seen in the past, Australia just eats it up.
I think the Australian side has played better and better as time as gone on and after watching a 20 minute highlights package of their game against France earlier in the week, they look very sharp heading towards the final.
I think Wayne Bennett has pretty much settled on his final lineup. As expected Barrett and Gower look like being the halves, Cooper and Gansier the center pairing and Mason and Wing being the main weapons from the bench.
While many were critical of his selection, Brent Tate has been absolutely outstanding out wide from Australia whether he has played at center or on the wing. In this series he has scored some of the most thrilling, determined tries you will ever see and as a big fan of his, I’m really happy to see him doing so well.
The way to gauge an Australian side form is by the speed of their defensive line. Against France Australia looked very sharp and they carried that into their game against Great Britain. The Australian sides capacity to not only get through a lot of defensive work, but to handle the pressure is just incredible.
On the flip side, New Zealand were terrible against Great Britain two weeks ago and had a much tougher game against France than the 38-22 score line suggest.
The on again, off again, retirement of Stacey Jones can not be helping the team and the loss of composure of their coach last week against Great Britain cant be the best sign for the Kiwi team.
Its funny how Test series over the last decade all have a similar theme. Australia starts off poorly but always comes good at the end. Great Britain come in enthusiastic, can put in some promising performances, but always disappoint while New Zealand starts these series like world beaters only to get worse as the series rolls on.
It will be interesting to see how the 2005 Kangaroo’s and Kiwi’s respond to this final that should provide some incredible football.
For the record, I think Australia will win by a score line of 28-12.
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