Brooke played for the All Blacks between 1987 and 1997, playing 58 tests and 42 matches. Across the 100 matches, Brooke scored 195 points, made up of 42 tries and three drop goals. He is considered one of the best number eights to have ever played for the All Blacks with running and kicking skills of a back along with the strength and mobility of a great loose forward.Read more exclusive columns
Zinzan Brooke: Both sides will step up a gear
Zinzan Brooke 23 Aug 2017 Getty Images
QUICK TAP: WALLABIES DEFENCE COACH STANDS BY SYSTEMS
People here in London believe the All Blacks have a feeling of comfort with their opponents at the moment. Sure, when you put on over 50 points you’re allowed to feel that way, but it can come back and bite you. That’s what happened in Sydney, and the Wallabies were able to take a bit of the shine off a polished All Blacks performance.
The northern hemisphere sides will lock that second half away as an example of where the All Blacks can potentially trip up in tighter games. But let’s be honest here, this was an incredible performance.
You’ve got to pay tribute to the execution from the likes of Ryan Crotty, Beauden Barrett – even the big boys who split open the Australian defence. They were relentless, clinical and left the hosts for dead in the first half.
There’s not much Michael Cheika can say when you’re down 6-40, but you’ve got to give them credit for those four second-half tries. That showed a touch of spine, resilience and fight. They’ll be ditching the first half and banking the second.
"It's an awesome place to play rugby" - Ben Smith speaks ahead of his final Test of 2017!
Tickets: https://t.co/oLY4pLzLOj#NZLvAUS pic.twitter.com/nPQbFHfvks— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 22, 2017
Meanwhile the All Blacks looked comfortable in Sydney and have some incredible strike weapons like Barrett, Crotty and Aaron Smith at the base of the ruck.
It’s going to be an interesting start to the game and I’m pretty confident the All Blacks will show their intentions in the first five minutes. From there you can expect the Wallabies to go after parity in the forwards and set piece, but it’s going to be a significant sorting-out period in that first 10 minutes.
Given how dynamic the All Blacks looked in the opening game, I’m excited with what they can bring on Saturday. Bring on the Bledisloe!
BACKING BLACK? Limited tickets are still available to this weekend's second #BledisloeCup Test in Dunedin.
BUY: https://t.co/oLY4pLzLOj pic.twitter.com/8GXAtaTROC— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 22, 2017