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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OPINION: All Blacks expected to be back at full throttle

    05 Oct 2017    

Just when it looked like a 50-point thrashing, they did their best to keep it as even as possible with mistake after mistake. To be fair, if it was the Springboks or Wallabies, especially with how well both sides played last week, I don't think they would've let the All Blacks off. 

But as I said last time, this is an Argentina side with plenty of bravado and not as much discipline. If they could rein in their passion and let it flow in their game, they would be a real force. It was a side who always wears the heart on the sleeve. That's usually not a bad thing, but that doesn't work against the All Blacks.

There has been a bit of chat about how the Argentinean scrum and forward dominance is a thing of the past, but I wouldn't go that far. Their tight five is solid, and Agustin Creevy still leads the side well, but again it was the discipline that let them down, particularly at scrum time. They're very aggressive, but with very little benefit. They were penalised so often I almost slapped the TV a couple of times!

Still, if you want to have a dud game, Argentina is the perfect team to shake it off against. Especially when the next challenge is one of the all-time greats, South Africa in Cape Town. Like I mentioned earlier, I was actually pretty impressed with how the Springboks and Wallabies played last week. There was a consistency and grittiness that I haven't seen in a game featuring either side for some time, so it was great to see it. Before we go and give them too much praise, though, they have been in this situation before. The end result? The wrong end of a 57-0 hiding. 

I've said it once and I'll say it again, Elton Jantjes has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. His hairstyle is fantastic, but his ability to lead the troops? Questionable at best. He needs to focus on getting South Africa on the front foot, and has serious work to do to be consistently on top.

Nevertheless, this All Blacks side is relatively back to full strength. A week off can be a long time in rugby and there is a chance those players could return cold, but it's a very weak chance and I'm picking the lineout, scrum and ball carrying will be back at full throttle.

It's going to be a good game and I'm looking forward, but the All Blacks are a proper machine.