Clinical All Blacks in ominous form ahead of World Cup
Graham Henry’s All Blacks are in ominous form with the World Cup on home soil just over a year away.
New Zealand can seal yet another Tri Nations title on Saturday as they look to secure a tenth straight victory over the Wallabies.
Despite dismantling the Springboks in consecutive weeks, many had thought Henry’s team would face a Wallabies side capable of making a run for the title.
Instead, they came up against another under-performing outfit battling with ill-discipline and in poor form.
Drew Mitchell’s red card was the hammer blow for the Wallabies’ chances, though it could be argued the game was already over as a contest by that point.
In their current form, the All Blacks will undoubtedly enter the World Cup as favourites, and will be keen to live up to that billing having underperformed in the last two tournaments.
World Cup semi and quarter-final finishes would not be disappointing for most nations, but when a side like the All Blacks blow away their nearest rivals by such a margin, expectations are understandably raised.
With next year’s tournament on home soil, Henry and his men will be eager to make amends with what is arguably New Zealand’s most talented set of players in years.
Yet the most daunting aspect about the in-form All Blacks is not the margin of their victories, but rather the strength of the players being kept out of the side.
Names such as Jimmy Cowan and Corey Flynn, as well as Sam Whitelock and youngster Israel Dagg, are of such a high quality that should any of his starting stars get injured, Henry has little to worry about.