Curse of the Perennial Favourites

Another NZ Rugby World Cup campaign has ended in tatters, with the All Blacks bowing out 18-20 to France in the quarterfinal. Despite being consistently ranked first in the world, and NZ being the only country with rugby as truly its national sport, the All Blacks have failed to win a World Cup since the inaugural event in 1987. Hooker Anton Oliver described a “smell of death” hanging over the All Black camp since the shock loss; back home, fans have tried everything from the classic referee blame-game, to auctioning the All Blacks off for $1 on TradeMe. “We’d worked so hard to get to where we were,” said star first five-eight Daniel Carter. “To be sitting in the changing room was a hollow and quiet place to be.” Carter’s decision to continue playing rugby in NZ – unlike seven of his team mates – is one positive note to come out of the failed campaign. The next World Cup will be hosted by NZ, as was the 1987 event. As International Herald Tribune columnist Peter Berlin observes, “If they cannot win again at home, maybe they never will.”


Tags: All Blacks  Anton Oliver  Dan Carter  France  International Herald Tribune  New Zealand  Peter Berlin  Rugby World Cup  Rugby World Cup (2007)  Times (The)  

New Zealand Trail Star Nancy Jiang Rises to Success

New Zealand Trail Star Nancy Jiang Rises to Success

Chinese-born New Zealander Nancy Jiang’s determination to succeed in trail running is shaped by her upbringing, when her parents pushed for academics over sport, according to Mark Agnew who interviewed Jiang…