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All Blacks looking ‘old and weary’


New Zealand rugby pundits on Monday blamed tiredness at the end of a long season for the All Blacks’ shock loss to England, also suggesting over-confidence contributed to the defeat.


Media were full of praise for England after they ended the world champions’ 20-Test winning sequence with a famous 38-21 victory at Twickenham, comparing them to Martin Johnson’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winners.

“England didn’t just ambush the No.1 side in the game at Twickenham… they ambushed the rugby world,” former All Black half-back Justin Marshall wrote in the Dominion Post.

The New Zealand Herald pointed out it was England’s biggest win over the All Blacks, surpassing a 13-0 result in 1936, and the New Zealanders’ second heaviest defeat ever, after a 28-7 loss to Australia in 1999.

While skipper Richie McCaw said after the game that a stomach bug in the tourists’ camp had not affected his team, the Herald’s Wynne Gray said it could not be ignored when searching for reasons behind the lacklustre display.

“The lack of sting from the start suggested illness which swept the team during the week had a severe impact,” he wrote.

“If the team wasn’t affected by illness, it was some lesson from England… they had a hunger that has not been apparent since the World Cup-winning group from 2003.”

Former All Blacks captain Stu Wilson said New Zealand had “nothing in the tank” in the final Test of a draining season.

“It was just one too far for our boys, who got second,” he told Radio New Zealand. “They were beaten by a very good side, a very young side, I might add, and we’re looking a bit old and weary.”

In the lead-up to the game, New Zealand were touted as possibly one of the greatest rugby sides ever and Fairfax Media correspondent Toby Robson said some players had bought into the hype, to the frustration of coach Steve Hansen.

“Hansen is big on staying grounded, but his players were inflated with helium in the buildup to their final Test of the season,” he wrote. “His players got ahead of themselves and paid the price.”

Marshall dismissed suggestions illness and fatigue were behind the loss, saying the tourists were simply beaten by a better team.

“The All Blacks were out-thought, more than anything. England came with a game plan that we simply didn’t think they could deliver,” he wrote. “Maybe they even surprised themselves.”

After handing out rugby lessons to opponents for 20 straight Tests, Marshall said the New Zealanders had now been given one by England and rookie players who had until now only tasted success with the All Blacks should “suck it up”.

“The next major challenge in this part of the world will come in the 2015 World Cup and the likes of (Israel) Dagg, (Julian) Savea, (Sam) Whitelock and Aaron Smith will now know the sort of challenges they’ll be up against,” he said.

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  1. This game means two negatives for Boks:

    1) Kiwis beaten out of any complacency they might have had. Now they will go into 2013 on the back foot and word harder. Had they won we might have benefited from a cock-sure Kiwi team in 2013 but alas.

    2) The English giant has awoken out of its slumber. A confident Pom team all things considered is probably stronger than a confident Bok team – based on the fact that they have a backline.

    We now move our attention to Super Rugby and how our teams perform. Good rotation and a good winning margin against our foes, especially abroad, will be telling.

    Meyer wants confident fit players. I hope the Super sides an deliver this.

  2. Tuilagi and Barritt are just like our centers with less talent so stop talking kak as usual about an “English back line” Brendon.

    1. Kiwis are never shaken out of complacency. They arrogantly think themselves the best team in the world and act the part. But with our inferiority complex instilled by WESSA culture we call it “confidence” whilst if our boys do it it’s called “Afrikaner Arrogance”. Bottom line… the Kiwis will never learn from this loss or become complacent because their confidence that they are the best in the world is nev1er ever shaken.

    2. Bullshit. England has huge numbers of players but few good coaches and centralized structures to utilize their player numbers. Somewhat like Indian cricket. HUGE pool of talented players who just cannot deliver internationally. We have better players than England. England does not have a backline… if you call Tuilagi and Barrit crashballing a backline that passes you are a lost soul…

  3. Kiwis comment on Twitter as proof:

    Not shaken out of complacency at all.

    Settle Sir Clive, your Swallow has yet to Summer. Happy if the All Blacks have the Red Rose in their pool. Surprise our bigger enemy.

  4. Spare a thought for poor Wales.

    They played all the beautiful rugby and still lost.

    Playing NZ style with non-NZ players is maybe not the best idea in the world.

  5. Did Suzie emigrate to the UK?
    This stomach bug stuff is getting lame.

    And BTW: Not 20 streak.
    They drew against the OZmob.

  6. Is the bigger problem not that “flatness” and “aged” looking AB’s though?

    What does this say for the highly vaunted Kiwi “centralized contract and elite player management system” which is supposed to manage players through each season to ensure they are not overplayed but time managed to play a proper number of games?

    Are we to assume the system appears to have failed this season given the apparently jaded performance of the All Blacks this NH tour?

    Nobody is going to tell me their performance against Scotland was smooth and flawless…

  7. Who recalls the year RW started it was a suummer like this 2005/2006 and Aus was klapping SA disnis in an away cricket tour after Jacques Rudolph had managed to bat us out of a hole in Perth like Faf Du Plessis did earlier in this series in Brizzie.

  8. Hey guys.
    This is my wife’s company pulling a live advert stunt at the premiere of the new James Bond movie “Skyfall” before the movie starts. After the movie the actors handed flyers out to the moviegoers. What a brilliant and innovative way to advertize.

  9. David your dislike of the kiwis clouds your judgement sometimes. A lot of what you post makes sense but you lose credibility when you start the anti All Black comments. Posting what some anonymous tweeter has said as proof that kiwis are complacent and arrogant is scraping the barrel. Here are some comments from real kiwi rugby people following the well deserved English victory:

    Justin Marshall: England were physical, took the game to NZ and deserved the win with the unusual width they used and the smart game they played.

    Richard Lowe: All 15 of the England side turned up and wanted to play. Their frontrow scrummed very well, countered the All Blacks and this time set the platform.

    Ken Laban: A fabulous result for world rugby. England had a phenomenal 80 minutes and were too good and too passionate for the All Blacks.

    Dave Rennie: England adopted superior tactics in defence and while the All Blacks had a high 18 missed tackles (84% success), England only missed 14 tackles (87% success). The All Blacks also lost the line break and running meters counts thanks to Tuilagi’s great game.

    Hardly complacent and arrogant. On a weekend when the mens and women’s sides lost to good England teams at Twickenham and the mens 7’s lost the Dubai finals to Samoa one would expect the humility real rugby people have shown here. Only the women’s 7 side were victorious but I hesitate to mention that as such comments out of NZ could be taken up the wrong way :pot: .

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