Looking Ahead To Mid Season Test Match At SCG

Well the mid season Test Match is coming up and there is a lot of talk about who should, and shouldn’t make the side.

Australia has so many form players to choose from with only prop being a bit of a problem because of injuries to Luke Bailey and Brett White being suspended.

The Kiwi’s meanwhile are really struggling, mostly due to injuries. The likes of Isaac Luke and Krisnan Inu are big losses for the Kiwi’s and they will be hard to overcome.

Now keep in mind with these teams that I have selected them with one eye on the World Cup at seasons end.

I think that both countries need to use this game to look at some of their combinations and see what players can do at this level. This is more important to New Zealand who are coming off the back of a disgusting effort over in Great Britain and they really need a new start.

League Freaks Australian Test Side
1. Billy Slater
2. Greg Inglis
3. Israel Folau
4. Justin Hodges
5. Jarryd Hayne
6. Braith Anasta
7. Jonathan Thurston
8. Petero Civoniceva
9. Cam Smith
10. Willie Mason
11. Nathan Hindmarsh
12. Ryan Hoffman
13. Dallas Johnston

14. Cooper Cronk
15. Anthony Tupou
16. Sam Thaiday
17. Antonio Kaufusi

Slater gets the fullback role on form while Hayne and Inglis get the wings spots just because they are both outstanding for Australia in that role.

In the centers Hodges picks himself while I had to select Folau ahead of Gasnier just because Gasniers defence concerns me.

In the halves I picked the two form halves in Anasta and Thurston.

Up front I have big Petero up front with Willie Mason who I like better in the back row, but who I have pushed up front because a few other props are injured or suspended.

Cam Smith is hooker and captain.

In the back row I have Hindmarsh for his workrate and defense with Hoffman and Johnston on form.

On the bench I have Cronk as a hooker/half, I want to see if he can fill in that backup hookers role. Tupou should be a good addition, especially if he can work off Anasta as he has been for the Roosters. I have Thaiday for his hard running and Antonio Kaufusi basically for the same reason.

League Freaks New Zealand Test Side
1. Sam Perrett
2. Cooper Vuna
3. Jerome Ropati
4. Iosia Soliola
5. Taniela Tuiaki
6. Ben Roberts
7. Nathan Fien
8. Roy Asotasi
9. Lance Hohaia
10. Fui Fui Moi Moi
11. Frank Pritchard
12. Simon Mannering
13. Sonny Bill Williams

14. Ben Te’o
15. David Kidwell
16. Setaimata Sa
17. Terence SeuSeu

Its tough for the Kiwi’s as they have a few key injuries.

I have Perrett at fullback as he has been playing there so far this season for the Roosters and it wont be too hard for him to continue in that role.

On the wings I think Vuna has been impressive for the Knights while Tuiaki adds size, power and can play in the back row if needed.

In the centers, fingers crossed Roparti is fully fit for the game while I think Soliola picks himself.

The halves just suck wuite frankly, but its about the best the Kiwi’s can do, with turncoat Australian Nathan Fein at halfback and Ben Roberts at five-eight.

Asotasi is captain and starting prop even though his form as been down, while I threw Moi Moi into the starting side for some size and impact early on. I would only have him playing bench minutes however.

I selected Hohaia at hooker because they really don’t have to many options and Lance is the most versatile player in the game!

I like the Kiwi back row with Prichard offering size, mobility and power, Mannering offering mobility and work rate with SBW being a pretty handy player as well.

The bench is something to think about!

I have young Ben Te’o on the bench because I think he is a player that really could be in World Cup calculations by seasons end. I have Kidwell coming off the bench as he’ll add a bit of fire to the Kiwi’s pack when he comes on. I’d probably move him into the front row to play starters minutes.

I have Sa who can play in the back row or even in the centers if needed, he has played really well this season. Then, I selected Seu Seu, despite the fact he isn’t playing in the NRL at the moment, because the Kiw’s need to find a try backup hooker for when Isaac Luke is back and fully fit.

This will apparently be the last mid season test between Australia and New Zealand for some time because quite frankly, the Kiwi’s are gutless and have decided they just can not compete against an Australian side with the same preperation as them.

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