South African commentator backs 'Boks, Wallabies to hammer All Blacks in Rugby Championship - 'What was there to fear?'

The Springboks are poised to dominate both the All Blacks and world rugby one year out from the next World Cup, according to South African commentator Mark Keohane.

Having found a new lease of life under coach Rassie Erasmus, the Springboks could seal a 3-0 whitewash over old rivals England, when the two sides meet in Cape Town this weekend.

Writing for South Africa's Sport24 network, Keohane predicted that the Springboks' resurgence won't just stop at England, boldly declaring that the Rugby Championship is theirs to lose later this year.

"The Springboks will win the Rugby Championship. The All Blacks won't finish in the top two," he wrote.

The All Blacks coach says his South African counterpart is psyching his team up. Source: 1 NEWS

"What was there to fear about the All Blacks? To those who put the All Blacks on a pedestal so high that all visual of their fallibility is blurred, take an aerial view of the men in black. You'll see more inglorious than glorious.

"The core of that wonderfully talented 2015 World Cup squad is gone. The next generation isn't anywhere near as potent."

Not content with declaring the All Blacks won't beat the Springboks, Keohane also predicted that the Wallabies will prove tougher opponents for Steve Hansen's side.

"South Africa, on balance, have more depth and quality in their forwards than New Zealand. The Wallabies have greater presence in their backs than the All Blacks.

"I'm picking South Africa and Australia to be the top dogs in this year's Rugby Championship, with New Zealand in the unfamiliar third place.

"The All Blacks aren't as good as many think and the Springboks and Wallabies are better than most think."

The All Blacks are currently on a six-Test winning streak against the Springboks, with the two sides to next meet in Wellington on September 15.

Eben Etzebeth is building up Saturday's New Zealand v South Africa as world rugby's biggest game. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: Dan Carter challenges Billy Slater to goal-kicking trick shot challenge from corner flag

All Blacks legend Dan Carter still has a couple of tricks up his sleeve but he's going to have to do better to get one up on NRL star Billy Slater.

Carter challenged Slater to a goal-kicking trick shot contest as part of a promotion for his new beer company, where the pair had to slot the ball between the uprights from the left corner flag.

Carter knocked his over with ease using his trademark left boot before Slater stepped up.

"I've never been much of a goal-kicker," the Maroons fullback said.

"But I suppose there's a first time for everything."

Slater followed up with an ugly kick, even shouting "no!" initially after connecting with the ball but it tailed around and kissed the crossbar on its way over, sending the 35-year-old into scenes of jubilation.

The Maroons may need some of that luck on Sunday night when they face off with the NSW Blues in State of Origin II in Sydney in a do-or-die scenario, having lost the first contest in the best-of-three series 22-12.

Slater has been declared fit for the match although he probably won't be handed the goal-kicking responsibilities.


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Watch: Steve Hansen compares France's 'hard done by' feelings to All Blacks' series with Lions - 'I could squeal about that too'

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says tough calls and missed opportunities in a Test series is all part of the game of rugby - and you only need to look back 12 months to realise his team knows what the French are feeling.

Hansen was challenged by a reporter today about possibly making the series a best-of-one after two controversial wins where the French were temporarily down to 14 men in both contests due to a yellow card in Auckland and red card last week.

"Most people, especially the French, feel it hasn't been a fair contest," the reporter stated.

"How would you feel about putting up the Dave Gallaher Trophy up for grabs again in a one off game on Saturday?"

Hansen shrugged off the idea immediately.

"You make the comment that the French feel like they've been hard done by - you can talk about any series and say that, that's the way rugby is.

"You could go back 12 months and I could sit here and squeal about that too but it's pointless isn't it?"

Hansen was referring to last year's drawn third Lions Test where his side was denied a last-minute penalty to win the series after French referee Roman Porte overturned his initial call and downgraded his decision to an All Blacks scrum instead.

Hansen said the rules for this year's series were already set and there wasn't any point getting worked-up about it.

"We've put it in the cabinet so there's no point giving someone else a break is there? We've got so we'll keep it."

The All Blacks face France in the dead-rubber match at 7:30pm on Saturday in Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The All Blacks coach says tough ref calls are all part of rugby. Source: 1 NEWS


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