Watch Bledisloe Cup Live Streaming 2018 Online Game 1 Free Stream. The 2018 Bledisloe Cup Wallabies vs All Blacks match will be kick off at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia, Saturday 18 August 2018 online, Time 7.45pm (AEST) and its broadcast on Fox Sports,Sky Sports, SuperSport,Sky Italia, Canal Plus,BSkyB,ESPN,SportsNet World,DIRECTV,SNTV and online.
First and foremost, it is worth noting that Australia has won Game One of the Bledisloe only once in the last 10 years. It doesn’t take the most astute of observers to realise that it makes wrestling the cup back from the All Blacks awfully difficult if they fall behind 1-0 this evening.
It would appear that Michael Cheika has tipped his hat to this point. His internal trial at Leichardt Oval in the build-up was a more than useful hit out for his non-Waratahs squad members.
Whether it translates into a fast start come tonight remains to be seen. However, you’d be hard pressed to find any fan that didn’t like the concept.
Cheika has gone all-in on the set piece with his selections 1 through 8. Izack Rodda and Adam Coleman start in the second row, and both are the lineout generals for their respective Super Rugby sides.
Rob Simmons, the caller for the Waratahs, has also won a spot on the bench.
The back row of Lukhan Tui, Michael Hooper and David Pocock is an interesting prospect. Pocock’s on-ball ability is undeniable, and it is a mobile trio.
With Pete Samu providing back-up from the bench, the battle at the breakdown will be extremely intriguing.
The questions arise in the front row.
Scott Sio’s shoulder niggle sees Tom Robertson start, alongside the returning Tatafu Polota-Nau and veteran Sekope Kepu.
Robertson was outstanding for the Waratahs in 2018, particularly in their finals run, and he thoroughly deserves his start.
However, his battle against Owen Franks is as tough as they come. It could be telling.
Taniela Tupou and Tolu Latu will be electric off the bench, expect decent minutes for both.
For the All Blacks, Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick are one of the best lock pairings in the world, whilst the evergreen Kieran Read returns from injury to skipper his side.
The Wallabies primary issue is not scoring points, it’s in not conceding them. Their attack is at its best, electric, and in Israel Folau and Kurtley Beale, they have two of the form attacking weapons in world rugby. The return of Will Genia should also be a timely boost.
However, if the Wallabies are to win, they need to approach Game One in Sydney with the defensive intensity and line speed they displayed in Game One against Ireland at Suncorp Stadium a couple of months ago.
On that occasion, David Pocock was immense at breakdown time, and the Irish had literally no answer to the ferocity of the wall that was the Wallabies defence that night.
For 80 minutes, Cheika’s men out-enthused, out-tackled, and out-thought a very impressive rugby outfit.
Anything short of that performance will spell defeat for the men in gold.
I think the All Blacks starting XV isa better-rounded and more complete side. However, Cheika’s bench has a few weapons, particularly in the front row. If used properly, it could make for a frenetic last 20 minutes when bodies start getting tired.
I think it will be an extremely close fixture, however the experience and X-Factor of the All Blacks should just be enough to get the job done at a bumper ANZ Stadium.
Wallabies: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper (c), Lukhan Tui, Adam Coleman, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson.
Reserves: Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Jack Maddocks.
All Blacks: Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (c), Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith.
Reserves: Nathan Harris, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Tim Perry, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown.