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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Other SportsBrooke tips Savea to star in All Blacks win

Brooke tips Savea to star in All Blacks win

Former New Zealand number eight Zinzan Brooke has backed the All Blacks to win the Rugby World Cup on Saturday – and picked Ardie Savea as the key man to down South Africa.

New Zealand came into the tournament with some question marks surrounding key players but have got gradually better and their quarter-final performance in beating world number one team Ireland was one for the ages.

Ian Foster’s men were too strong for Argentina in the last four whereas the Springboks – having beaten tournament hosts France in the quarters – were a touch fortunate to come through a bruising clash with England.

Brooke told RugbyPass: ”South Africa have come the hard way [into the final] and will have to buck up their ideas and actually deliver or else the All Blacks will open them up and expose the Springboks’ deficiencies we saw in the semi-final against England.

“That win over Ireland – I don’t think I have ever seen an All Blacks side play that well. The clinical precision [to go 13-0 up] gave me the confidence they would do the job and the whole 23 needed a pat on the back for that performance.

“My gut is telling me the All Blacks will have confidence going into the final. Coming into the tournament, I had doubts because I didn’t see the consistency from the All Blacks but if I had seen them deliver the kind of rugby we saw in the Ireland quarter-final I would have said ‘these All Blacks mean business.’ They will keep it simple against the Springboks, be accurate and play at pace and with passion.”

Brooke has been hugely impressed with Savea and thinks he may make the difference at the Stade de France.

He added: “What Ardie possesses is power and an explosive ability to make ground with little runs which are vitally important. The three or four metres he makes puts the team on the front foot and he has a wonderful offloading ability. Ardie achieves that more than most and his mobility is fantastic.

“With his beautiful hands it means he can offload to a support runner even if he is under intense pressure.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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