Tag Archives: New Zealand

Today: Wales v New Zealand

28 Nov
The All Blacks perform Ka Mate before a match ...

Image via Wikipedia

This weekend was the last of the Autumn internationals.

I was lucky enough to buy tickets for the Wales v New Zealand slaughter (match).

My Mum and I were supposed to go to the Fiji match, but why go see a third rate team lose against Fiji when i can see them fight to the death against arguably the best team in the world?

Granted NZ lost their number 1 spot when they lost in a rare defeat to South Africa, however they re the number 1 team. The slickness way they play the game can easily be described as beautiful. It’s almost flawless. Perfect. So quick you wonder if their opposition saw them coming.

They are the greatest team to watch. You love to watch them lose – you read right. LOSE. Yes you want to see them play the best they have ever played, but we all want the underdog to win. It’s that type of love-hate relationship which makes New Zealand a constant sell-out at any ground.

The match was as predicted, a slaughter, Wales tried (and were even helped by Dan Carter‘s poor form), but ultimately couldn’t string enough passes together to make it look like secondary school touch rugby. Which is a shame, as only 2 years ago they seemed to dominate everybody. What has happened?

They have young and up and coming stars in the form of George North, Dan Lydiate, and Leigh Halfpenny. They were missing key move maker Shane Williams, but they were so disjointed it was like they forgot to look before passing. These newbies will soon settle, but not soon enough to save the reputation it seems.

The next time Wales will play will be in the 6 nations, will they improve? Who knows, all i know is that I cannot wait!

Ps: Congratulations To Dan Carter who has stolen the highest scorer title from my beloved Jonny Wilkinson. Toby Flood will have you in a few years……

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Today: The Flower of Scotland

20 Nov

This years Autumn internationals were bringing to the Northern Hemisphere the top 3 teams in the world. New Zealand, S. Africa and Australia.

Today, Scotland faced the challenge of the world number 1 – South Africa. After a crushing and embarrassing defeat (the ref finished the match 3 mins early) against New Zealand the week before, you would forgive Scotland for not only being bitter, bitterly dissapointed and soul destroyed, but also not up for playing a team which was supposedly better than New Zealand.

Although there was scandal withing the South Africa camp, and a string of injuries, they went into the match as favourites.

The rain seemed to loom over Murray field as an omen for certain doom – no doubt that whatever level the Scots were praying at, they must have had a heart sinking feeling.

However, after an intense 80 mins, the Scots prevailed, the flower is blooming and the springboks are limping home. Like Prince Edwards Army in the last verse of “O Flower of Scotland”:

Those days are passed now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again
That stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

And S. Africa will have to think again before they try a grandslam against the Northern Hemisphere.