PREVIEW: All Blacks v Australia second Test

Ben Smith 1582044433

Matches played: 159
All Blacks won: 110
Australia won: 42
Draw: 7
Last match: All Blacks 54, Australia 34 (19 August 2017)
Largest All Blacks winning margin: 43-6 (1996)
Last Australia victory: 27-19 (2015)

Match details:
All Blacks v Australia, 7.35pm (NZT), Forsyth-Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The All Blacks have made four changes to the side that took out Australia 54-34 last week. All changes come in the forwards with Dane Coles recovering from a head knock to take his place in the number two jersey while Kane Hames and Scott Barrett come onto the bench in place of Wyatt Crockett and Luke Romano. In a late change, tighthead prop Owen Franks has been ruled out with an Achilles injury and is replaced in the starting line-up by Nepo Laulala. Australia have undergone a minor re-shuffle with Rob Simmons starting at lock in place of Rory Arnold. In the backs, Samu Kerevi has been excluded from the match-day 23 with Tevita Kuridrani coming into the starting side. Dane Haylett-Petty is also back from injury and takes his spot in the wing in place of Curtis Rona.


Although the All Blacks will be satisfied with a 20 point win in Sydney, they will be concerned that they have lost the final quarter of their last three Test matches. The All Blacks structure seemed to slip away during the second half as the Wallabies ran in four tries to add some respectability to the scoreboard and send a warning shot for the second Test. Expect a lift in intensity from the All Blacks in the final 20 minutes as they look to improve this crucial area.
After a heavy playing workload over recent seasons, Ben Smith will play in his final Test of 2017 before having a recovery break until the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season. After scoring against Australia last weekend, Smith is now second-equal with Richie McCaw on the all-time Rugby Championship try-scoring list with 17 tries. Smith has often spoken of his fondness for playing under the roof in Dunedin and will be out for a big performance in his final outing of the year.
After battling with injury throughout 2017, Dane Coles has been cleared to play his first Test of 2017. It will be extra special an extra special return for Coles with the Test marking his 50th appearance for the All Blacks. Coles said that he is excited to pull on the black jersey again and had a simple reason for his success: “I've just tried to be true to myself, go out and express myself.”
The All Blacks have won six games in a row against Australia, with an average of 40 points scored in all of those matches.

TEAMS (caps in brackets)

All Blacks: 1. Joe Moody (29) 2. Dane Coles (49) 3. Nepo Laulala (4) 4. Brodie Retallick (65) 5. Samuel Whitelock (89) 6. Liam Squire (10) 7. Sam Cane (45) 8. Kieran Read (101) - Captain
9. Aaron Smith (63) 10. Beauden Barrett (54) 11. Rieko Ioane (6) 12. Sonny Bill Williams (37)
13. Ryan Crotty (28) 14. Ben Smith (63) 15. Damian McKenzie (3)
RESERVES: 16. Codie Taylor (20) 17. Kane Hames (1) 18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (5) 19. Scott Barrett (8) 20. Ardie Savea (17) 21. TJ Perenara (34) 22. Lima Sopoaga (8) 23. Anton Lienert-Brown (14)

Australia:1. Scott Sio (33 Tests) 2. Stephen Moore (121 Tests) 3. Allan Alaalatoa (13 Tests) 4. Rob Simmons (72 Tests) 5. Rory Arnold (13 Tests) 6. Ned Hanigan (4 Tests) 7. Michael Hooper (c) (69 Tests) 8. Sean McMahon (16 Tests) 9. Will Genia (79 Tests) 10. Bernard Foley (46 Tests) 11. Henry Speight (13 Tests) 12. Kurtley Beale (61 Tests)13. Tevita Kuridrani (48 Tests) 14. Dane Haylett-Petty (17 Tests)15. Israel Folau (56 Tests)

Reserves 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (72 Tests) 17. Tom Robertson (10 Tests) 18. Sekope Kepu (81 Tests) 19. Izack Rodda 20. Lopeti Timani (8 Tests)/Jack Dempsey (1 Test) 21. Nick Phipps (53 Tests) 22. Reece Hodge (14 Tests) 23. Curtis Rona (1 Test)

Ben Smith 1582044433


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