Zinzan Brooke

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.

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We've heard how good they are - Brooke

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Zinzan Brooke     14 Sep 2017     Getty Images

They've given the All Blacks a valuable lesson ahead of what could be the biggest game of the Rugby Championship this weekend.

The South Americans have definitely made some huge strides in the Investec Rugby Championship, to the point where I think they've improved more than Italy has in the Six Nations. Let's give them credit, they asked a few questions of the All Blacks and deserved their position with 20 minutes to go.


But that's exactly when their game dropped away, leaving the All Blacks ample chances to pull away and take the game. They just had no answer to the hosts' power and momentum, which was a bit of a concern if you were Agustin Creevy but they'll learn from that.

The All Blacks will need to take some lessons from that game as well. There was a definite wobble from the 39th to 52nd minutes where they made a number of unforced errors before they picked themselves up. They made a number of changes before that game which allowed Argentina to ask all sorts of questions, and for the most part they answered them.

What they can't do, though, is allow the Springboks to ask those same questions. Forget blooding players, this Saturday's game could make or break not only the Rugby Championship, but their opponents. We all know how well South Africa are tracking after last year's horrible effort. They're unbeaten this year, and have some big games still to come against the All Blacks. If the All Blacks get up and whallop them, that's likely to cause questions to sprout up amongst the Springboks. We've all heard how good they are, and now it's time to shut them up.
So for the most part, they need to go back to their tried and true. I really liked Anton Lienert-Brown in New Plymouth, and for me Sonny Bill Williams needs to do more to boss that midfield area. He's a senior player, and it's time for him to step up and blow everyone away again.

As for the Springboks, if there's one player I'd go after it's Elton Jantjes. I think he's a little pressure cooker and he could explode if you put pressure on him.

That said, there's a lot of unity in that team at the moment and it doesn't take much to see how a few wins can galvanise a team. Every time they score, you see players from all over the park join in and celebrate. That's the sign of a side with a good culture, and that's particularly hard to break down after a strong season.

Is this something the All Blacks can get over? Absolutely without a doubt. Look, they're always tight games and this game won't be any different on the North Shore. Home advantage is one thing we have on our side as well as a more settled and familiar line-up.

Give it heaps boys, and here's hoping they can deliver they can deliver a lesson of their own on Saturday.