The Dominator & The Hitman preview Rugby World Cup Final showdown
McKay on Sport
McKay on Sport

The Dominator & The Hitman preview Rugby World Cup Final showdown

Arguably the most anticipated sports event for Kiwis in the last four years, the All Blacks are all set to face off against the formidable South African Springboks in a showdown for the ages at the Rugby World Cup Final this weekend.

Hamish 'The Hitman' McKay told REX host Dominic 'The Dominator' George that whichever team is able to crack the game open first, will give themselves the best chance of taking home the William Web Ellis Trophy.

"Whoever throws the first decent punch, is going to hold on and win the game," McKay said.

"The All Blacks in this one are going to have to come out," George agreed.

"I think they'll realise that the first, even few minutes, I think they will throw caution to the wind and try and land a few early blows." 

With all the build-up to the biggest game in the Rugby world, McKay noted the perspective Kiwi media in particular has taken around the Springboks and their likely game plan going into the final.

"It's really interesting how the New Zealand media spins the rhetoric about the Springbok side squeezing the life out of you and squashing you and slowing it down, all the things that we'd do if we could."

George and McKay also pondered the potential reaction if the All Blacks were to lose, as compared to previous regimes. 

"The difference in the reaction if the All Blacks do indeed lose to South Africa on Sunday morning is the fact that we're actually going in, we went into this tournament not favoured to win it. When was the last time we weren't favoured to win a World Cup?" George said.

Talking on the selection of All Black forwards, specifically the omission of veteran hooker Dane Coles and prop Fletcher Newell from the reserves bench in favour of Samisone Taukei'aho and Nepo Laulala.

While both McKay and George admitted they didn't necessarily see that coming, both understood the reasoning behind it, selecting the 'bigger' front rowers to go up against the Springbok's mammoth forward pack.

"I think there has been a little bit of sharing the load a little bit...I think that's a bit of a safety policy with Laulala," McKay said.

"I'm surprised a little bit because like you, I thought Newell had done enough, but against South Africa there are worse things you could do in terms of picking an out-and-out front rower than Nepo Laulala."

Although he said it's too close to call, McKay struggles to find any weaknesses in the Springboks game but admitted that New Zealand proved they could take down a seemingly impenetrable giant having done so against world number one Ireland in the quarter-finals.

The boys wrapped up their chat with a brief overview of the Cricket World Cup currently underway in India, highlighting the underwhelming performance of previous tournament winners England who are sitting ninth out of the ten competing teams five games in, only recording a single win so far.

The Blackcaps are currently sitting third in the table, just below South Africa on net run rate with India the only undefeated team remaining in the tournament. The Kiwis are set to face Trans-Tasman rivals Australia on Saturday evening, who currently sit just one spot below them on the table.

Both McKay and George are confident that the Blackcaps can make the knockout stages of the competition, hopefully going one better than 2019 and bringing the trophy home to Aotearoa.

Listen to the full chat between Hamish McKay and Dominic George above.

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