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Are the All Blacks getting harder to like?

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HammerofThunor
No 7&1/2
aucklandlaurie
maestegmafia
Taylorman
Cyril
GloriousEmpire
yappysnap
Sgt_Pooly
blackcanelion
rainbow-warrior
gregortree
SecretFly
quinsforever
kiakahaaotearoa
Bullsbok
ALPanorak
Nachos Jones
Biltong
Mr Bounce
jelly
ScarletSpiderman
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Luckless Pedestrian
GunsGerms
offload
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Post by offload Mon 25 Nov 2013, 11:48 am

I settled to watch the game yesterday with my usual neutrals hat on. I became passionate and animated as the game developed because I was watching a superb example of my favourite sport. By the closing moments I could have been mistaken for the most die hard Irish fan as I screamed at the TV willing an Irish victory. Why? Another example of supporting the underdog? It felt more than that.

As long as I can remember I have admired the All Blacks - without doubt the best, most consistent team I have grown up with. I count players like Shelford, Jones, Brooke, Fitzpatrick, Cullen, Carter amongst the best I have seen. I was happy that in 2011 they got the "choking" monkey off their backs and won a WC on home soil. So here's the but: admire them as I do I'm finding it harder to like them. I'm having a problem with the inevitability of them winning and with the overwhelming expectancy of them winning. I need more unpredicability in my sport. As I watched the final moments yesterday despite every bit of me wanting Ireland to win I knew, actualy knew beyond any doubt, that NZ would snatch it. No team should make me feel like that - it's just not fair.

I don't expect an AB fan to understand my ramblings when they are busy celebrating 14 straight wins in one year, but surely some other "neutral" out there is looking forward to their next loss when a bit of sporting unpredictability can be restored?

Anyway thanks to both teams for a great game.
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Post by GunsGerms Mon 25 Nov 2013, 11:50 am

Imagine what it feels like to actually be an Ireland fan. I feel unbelievably deflated and struggling to lift the fog today. I have no idea why but a win would have meant so much.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Mon 25 Nov 2013, 12:18 pm

I have nothing but admiration for them. They're setting the standard for the rest of us. Still.

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Post by RDSguru Mon 25 Nov 2013, 12:28 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Imagine what it feels like to actually be an Ireland fan. I feel unbelievably deflated and struggling to lift the fog today. I have no idea why but a win would have meant so much.
So close and yet so far... been there and done that a few times..... it doesn't get any easier (sorry to say)... I feel for you

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Post by RDSguru Mon 25 Nov 2013, 12:31 pm

Back to the OP.... like them or not... can't help but admire them

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Mon 25 Nov 2013, 12:33 pm

Offload I know what you mean, I started off the match wanting to see Ireland win, however after the first 20 mins, I said to my wife that the Blacks would win the game, probably late on in the second half, as the Irish were throwing everything at them and would eventually tire and make mistakes. However, personally I look at that inevitability of their win (as you put it) as something pretty special in the game, if that was South Africa or Australia, I think that the inevitability of the Irish win would have really killed the game as a spectacle after the first quarter. The fact that you knew the All Blacks would come back into the game, and most likely win, just made it more compelling viewing, as I really wanted to see how/when the Irish would make that mistake.
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Post by jelly Mon 25 Nov 2013, 12:36 pm

I used to like them a lot and a lot of the names you mention bring back good memories. I think that playing against them more regularly means you lose some of the mystery that they used to have and incidents that only used to happen every few years now happen every few months, so they build up.

I honestly think that there is an attitude around NZ as well, everyone is meant to stand back and respect them. Look at pictures of the haka from the 70s, it was an absolute joke and hardly any of them had a clue what they were doing. It would strike about as much fear into the opposition as a bit of morris dancing. Now, they are learning new (yet also traditional?) versions of the haka and they are clearly trying to gain a psychological advantage when doing it. Teams are even told how they have to behave when it is being performed which is ridiculous, let teams ignore it/challenge it/make fun of it as they wish.

Then there is the fact that they never lose, they are just the victims of refereeing/illness/food being spiked etc.

Then there was the spear tackle . . .

As I say, if all these incidents were still separated by years then it wouldn't seem so bad but the fact that you see them regularly now means they linger in the mind.

Fantastic team but not that easy to like. Don't think this is a phenomenom limited to rugby or NZ, look at the booing that Vettel gets just because he keeps winning. Man Utd are hated by so many, mainly because they have been so successful.

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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 25 Nov 2013, 12:37 pm

I find them very much like Sebastian Vettel in F1. You know they're very good and on their day unbeatable but if you're not a supporter you always go for the underdog, yet there's a groaning inexorable likelihood that the normal result will occur. Which does get a bit dull after a while.

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Post by Biltong Mon 25 Nov 2013, 12:47 pm

Offload, I always support the Tri Nation teams against the Six Nation teams, but yesterday after watching the first half of the Irish game I found myself willing them to hold on.

I have seen enough of the AB's during the years to have known they would come back.

I was running the scores through my head trying to calculate what Ireland needed to secure the game.

With ten minutes to go and Sexton got the penalty for posts, I by then have worked out that would be all they needed.

The crowd's passion told me how much this would have meant to them to beat the AB's but when Sexton set up that kick I could just see in his body language he was going to miss it.

Call it a premonition if you will.

I was so disappointed when he missed the kick, and I can truly tell you how bad I felt for Ireland yesterday.

I actually went to bed early as I couldn't get y mind off the game.

Do I dislike NZ more?

Nah, but I can tell you I am envious of their record over us.
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Post by Nachos Jones Mon 25 Nov 2013, 12:50 pm

As an Irish fan, I was gutted about the loss but yet was in total admiration in the way they won the match. The winning try, from where they came and how they scored was sublime.

In short, I always admire the AB's Very Happy

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Post by ALPanorak Mon 25 Nov 2013, 12:54 pm

I'm a neutral but I will always appreciate 'greatness'. It's remarkable to see someone or a team play to a consistently high standard. I find New Zealand enjoyable to watch not only because of the legendary tradition of the team (the Haka, the iconic All Black shirt) but also because they largely play the game in the most entertaining way in my opinion - full of attacking flair, offloading, speed, quick ball, monsters at the ruck...
Even when the opposition rise to the challenge as SA, England and Ireland have all recently done, it's fascinating to see their resilient response - you just know the All Blacks will never roll over - there is a tenacity and doggedness which is also to be admired.

I do understand the Vettel parallel, but I feel it's a little different in that in rugby teams are operating on a level playing field (referee bias notwithstanding Whistle ) whereas with Formula 1 there is the technical construction element as well as driver ability which often creates uncompetitive advantages. (For the record I actually like Vettel too - from his Toro Rosso days mind you, glory hunter I am not Smile  )

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Post by Bullsbok Mon 25 Nov 2013, 1:31 pm

I was split between two minds yesterday. Like Biltong i always support 3N over 6N teams anyday and a win for the All blacks is a good thing as a 3N fan. However sometimes the underdog has to win especially after dominating for the entire game . It became almost unfair to think the All blacks would steal it at the death .When Cruden missed the first kick i thought thats the least the Irish deserve , a draw and would have been happy with that .The Irish should have , and deserved to get that one win but doesnt make me like the All blacks any less.
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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Mon 25 Nov 2013, 1:38 pm

I understand championing the underdog. In cricket everyone likes the Black Caps because they can cause upsets in one day but do the honourable thing and roll over and suffer humiliating test defeats most of the time.

Rugby is different. I often hear people say don't you get sick of winning? To me that's as ridiculous as asking don't you get tired of good moods or sunny weather! I fully understand though winning regularly makes for less excitement because you can predict the result but frankly no one could predict the performance of both teams yesterday. Some Irish posters felt an Irish pendulum swing but no one could've predicted how violently it would swing.

The ABs are a great source of pride. They represent my country and they do so with humility. They're confident in their ability but they know teams are out there to knock them over. When the team loses, the ugly side can come our from the fans but the players take it on the chin. There's been some ugly incidents and that has been difficult for many to acknowledge or own up to but which country doesn't have things they'd wish never happened?

So I have no problem with people wanting us to fail. In a way that's what drives the players and their record wouldn't be so surprising. All teams go through cycles. I started on 606 in 2007 when we failed in the RWC. I wanted to show my support for my team when they were at their lowest point. Seeing them at their highest point makes me happy for them as us fans are spoilt brats and these guys deserve the accolades they get and we fans really don't deserve their amount of success. But the players deserve our support through good times and bad. I've always felt proud to be an All Black supporter because they remind us Kiwis can fly and can achieve in the world and I'm grateful to them for reminding me of that. Kia Kaha

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Post by quinsforever Mon 25 Nov 2013, 1:47 pm

i have never liked the ABs overmuch. don't really know why. something about the way they "play" the referee just irks me a bit.

but i love watching them play rugby. and their win yesterday was incredible. the longer they go unbeaten, especially after 3 really close AI matches against unfavoured teams, the harder every team is going to come after them, which is going to make for great watching. so, long may their winning run continue (as long as it doesnt extend through RWC2015 obviously)

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Post by SecretFly Mon 25 Nov 2013, 1:52 pm

I still admire the All Blacks.... and I still want to beat them.

I think some people often misplace admiration with the word supplication.  They're afraid to utter the word 'admire' as they feel it weakens the resolve to defeat them...and gives them too much psychological ammo

Not a bit of it.  Every sport has a top dog - this sport here is a special one indeed in that it has such an iconic top-dog.  It's almost cinematic the structure of International rugby Union.  A sport where real men fight real blood and guts war, and where the best side chants warrior incantations before games and wears Darth Vader black.

I mean, the sport is an advertiser's dream.   But the great thing about it is that it isn't a marketing man's creation.  It's real.  There was nothing foretold that the team that chose to wear black all those years ago would be hoisted to the top for so long.  It worked out that way.  The fight is real, the blood and injuries are real - the warlike contests are seismic when they rise to the occasion - like the weekend game.

But admitting all that in no way suggests that nobody wants to knock the ABs off their perch.  I readily admire them as a rugby team because they present to the world a game style that we all can be proud of as Rugby Union followers... but hopefully they'll get knocked about even more effectively the next time we meet them and please God...a win.

Admiration of - not supplication to.

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Post by gregortree Mon 25 Nov 2013, 1:53 pm

quinsforever wrote:i have never liked the ABs overmuch. don't really know why. something about the way they "play" the referee just irks me a bit.

but i love watching them play rugby. and their win yesterday was incredible. the longer they go unbeaten, especially after 3 really close AI matches against unfavoured teams, the harder every team is going to come after them, which is going to make for great watching. so, long may their winning run continue (as long as it doesnt extend through RWC2015 obviously)
Had to re-read that Quins as I realise you did not mean "whining run" Shocked 

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Post by rainbow-warrior Tue 26 Nov 2013, 5:35 am

I get to at least 2 AB games a year and after Wales they are my team. You have to admire the team but some fans & media really need to just get real. It only happens on here usually and as I have said before not all Kiwis here are the same thank goodness. May they continue to win, the Kiwi is not able to handle a slum, 2007 World Cup failure had poor Graham Henry ready for a beheading outside Parliament. EVERYONE hated him and wanted him out.......they soon adapted though Smile
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Post by blackcanelion Tue 26 Nov 2013, 5:57 am

Went to my wife's work function in 2011. Spent a fair amount of time chatting to an Irishman who'd just been employed by the NZRU. His first job was taking the Wirimu (the world cup) around NZ. Think he's still there (dream job). If anyone else is having a love hate relationship with the AB's, spare a thought for this poor guy.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 26 Nov 2013, 5:59 am

I must admit there has been an awful lot of complaining from the New Zealand camp this tour and they've came across as sore winners a little.

This may be because they've not had things their own way, especially at the scrum and the breakdown, where they've struggled to adapt imo.

A fantastic team no doubt but I agree with the OP, they're getting harder to like.

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Post by blackcanelion Tue 26 Nov 2013, 6:02 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I must admit there has been an awful lot of complaining from the New Zealand camp this tour and they've came across as sore winners a little.

This may be because they've not had things their own way, especially at the scrum and the breakdown, where they've struggled to adapt imo.

A fantastic team no doubt but I agree with the OP, they're getting harder to like.
I suspect you'll find it's fans like me, rather than the team itself.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 26 Nov 2013, 6:28 am

No Black, I've seen it in articles post match from McCaw and co, just little comments.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Tue 26 Nov 2013, 6:42 am

Do you have examples by any chance Sarge?

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Post by yappysnap Tue 26 Nov 2013, 6:55 am

I admire the AB's but that's about it.

When it comes to the RC i'll always back SA or Oz, where's the fun in backing a team that's 99.9% guaranteed the win every time? I don't know if it's that or something else but they're just a little boring to me as well, there's not really much excitement or nerves with their games it's just a case of will the AB's be made to work for their win or will it be easy?

Might be bonkers (or a fact of being a Quins supporter) but I enjoy sharing the struggles a team goes through as much as the champagne rugby and winning, what's more enjoyable then overcoming the adversity of multiple losses or the odds being stacked against you to win an all important game? Or even just to get a win? It means so much more in my opinion.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Tue 26 Nov 2013, 7:02 am

I'm a season holder at Atletico. I was there in the dark days. The transition with more or less the same team is incredible. Wins do seem much sweeter.

That said when teams are trying to knock you off the top perch and play well and you find a way to dig deep and win I can assure you it means just as much. So proud of the boys and though I don't think this NZ team is a team of stars but it most assuredly is a star team and the fact they keep winning is inspiring.

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Post by GloriousEmpire Tue 26 Nov 2013, 7:50 am

14 wins in a row, and now they'll be eyeing that mythical 17th to take last joint record from South Africa.

So let's see...What NZ need is a three match series against the whipping boys of the 6N champions to sneak past the mark before needing to face serious opposition again. Run

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 26 Nov 2013, 8:18 am

Are NZ playing France again?

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Post by Cyril Tue 26 Nov 2013, 8:19 am

Cyprus hold for record for consecutive wins (20).

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Post by GloriousEmpire Tue 26 Nov 2013, 8:30 am

Cyril wrote:Cyprus hold for record for consecutive wins (20).
Laugh it's really starting to get to you isn't it?

Just think, by the end if the RC next year you won't even have those straws to grasp at!

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Post by Cyril Tue 26 Nov 2013, 8:32 am

GloriousEmpire wrote:
Cyril wrote:Cyprus hold for record for consecutive wins (20).
Laugh it's really starting to get to you isn't it?

Just think, by the end if the RC next year you won't even have those straws to grasp at!
I was just correcting your post that's all.

No biggie Very Happy 

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Post by Taylorman Tue 26 Nov 2013, 8:50 am

Yes I heard about Cyprus doing that. Quite a feat that an obviously way under resources side at that end of the rankings can string t hat number if wins together, even if against other lower sides. 20 is still 20 and surely mans some good development work is being done somewhere.
Beating england 3-0 at home is a tough ask.they'll out perform us for some periods of the series and we are notorious June starters.

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Post by GloriousEmpire Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:01 am

Ah, but England will be tired Taylorman. Or rusty.

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Post by maestegmafia Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:06 am

GloriousEmpire wrote:Ah, but England will be tired Taylorman. Or rusty.
They'll be missing most of their first choice squad.

England will be forced to field a severely weakened side for the first test in next summer’s three game series in New Zealand, after the IRB ruled that the series could not be delayed by a week.

England play the first of three matches against New Zealand on the tour – on 7th but with the Premiership Final on May 31st, and players not able to fly out until the next day, anyone involved in it will not be available in time for the first test.

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Post by rainbow-warrior Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:08 am

............and there is a prime example of what I write about. Low life kiwis that I have avoided in my life in NZ, or should I just use the singular.  vomit
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:15 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I must admit there has been an awful lot of complaining from the New Zealand camp this tour and they've came across as sore winners a little.

This may be because they've not had things their own way, especially at the scrum and the breakdown, where they've struggled to adapt imo.

A fantastic team no doubt but I agree with the OP, they're getting harder to like.
Maybe so, but they've adapted well enough to win...

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Post by aucklandlaurie Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:18 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I must admit there has been an awful lot of complaining from the New Zealand camp this tour and they've came across as sore winners a little.
This may be because they've not had things their own way, especially at the scrum and the breakdown, where they've struggled to adapt imo.

A fantastic team no doubt but I agree with the OP, they're getting harder to like.

Better to be sore winner than a sad Loser.

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Post by Guest Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:23 am

That's a bit unfortunate about the semi clash with the first test. Is it too much of a stretch to manage the players after the final so that they'll be fresh (enough) to play? Have they definitely been ruled out or is this just a common sense conclusion?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:28 am

Defintely won't play. It gives a good chance to some of the other players though so not all bad. Seems strange timing though.

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Post by maestegmafia Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:31 am

ebop wrote:That's a bit unfortunate about the semi clash with the first test. Is it too much of a stretch to manage the players after the final so that they'll be fresh (enough) to play?  Have they definitely been ruled out or is this just a common sense conclusion?
The English press are creating a lot of noise saying that it could be 12 first choice players out. If you take likely injury into account, and the likelihood of Saracens vs Tigers final Chris Ashton, Joel Tomkins, Owen Farrell, Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Manu Tuliagi, Brad Barritt and Billy Vunipola could all be missing.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:34 am

Yeah that'll win him over Laurie!

I just don't see where the players have been sore winners. They've been quick to praise the opposition. If you're thinking comments like it took us a while to adapt to the breakdown you can read into that whatever you like but it was true. They did finish stronger except against France where those comments weren't made.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:40 am

kiakahaaotearoa wrote:Yeah that'll win him over Laurie!

I just don't see where the players have been sore winners. They've been quick to praise the opposition. If you're thinking comments like it took us a while to adapt to the breakdown you can read into that whatever you like but it was true. They did finish stronger except against France where those comments weren't made.


True Kia, hence the reason for my flippancy.

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Post by jelly Tue 26 Nov 2013, 9:57 am

aucklandlaurie wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I must admit there has been an awful lot of complaining from the New Zealand camp this tour and they've came across as sore winners a little.
This may be because they've not had things their own way, especially at the scrum and the breakdown, where they've struggled to adapt imo.

A fantastic team no doubt but I agree with the OP, they're getting harder to like.
Better to be  sore winner than a sad Loser.
You do realise that those aren't the only 2 options available Rolling Eyes 

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Post by aucklandlaurie Tue 26 Nov 2013, 10:02 am


What sore drawers?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 26 Nov 2013, 10:04 am

Good winners possibly?

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Post by gregortree Tue 26 Nov 2013, 10:04 am

ABs ? no, I admire their achievements. No change there.
And fans like GE have aways been difficult to like... even if their views fascinate us... so that is no harder than it always was.

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Post by HammerofThunor Tue 26 Nov 2013, 10:36 am

ebop wrote:That's a bit unfortunate about the semi clash with the first test. Is it too much of a stretch to manage the players after the final so that they'll be fresh (enough) to play?  Have they definitely been ruled out or is this just a common sense conclusion?
It's the same for Ireland. The PRO12 is on the same day as the English final and their first game against Argentina is on the same day as the first game against New Zealand.

I think the NH season started a week later due to the way the weekends fell and the Lions tour. Then the IRB decided the first weekend in June starts on the Sat 31st May.

EDIT: Can we expect the same for Wales v South Africa? Have the dates been released? Pro12 final is definately on the same day as the Premeirship final. Not sure about T14 final.

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Post by GloriousEmpire Tue 26 Nov 2013, 10:44 am

rainbow-warrior wrote:............and there is a prime example of what I write about.  Low life kiwis that I have avoided in my life in NZ, or should I just use the singular.  vomit
Lucky for you there's just one.

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Post by GunsGerms Tue 26 Nov 2013, 10:47 am

GE if NZ had lost the game on Sunday what would your gripe have been if any?

Also and I know this is a little self serving but what player/s if any impressed you most for Ireland.

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Post by blackcanelion Tue 26 Nov 2013, 10:55 am

GunsGerms. Everytime there's a close international game. The boards on here get hit by at least one fan of the losing side who p&^%ed at something. The ref, their own team, the opposition, the pitch, the opposition fans, etc (pick any of the above).

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Post by Geordie Tue 26 Nov 2013, 10:59 am

I dont think they are unbeatable. But the game v England and Ireland both showed if you switch of for 1 minute or ten, or drop your intensity levels then they will beat you.

One sniff of a try and they will score.
Thats the sign of a simply awesome side who should be applauded. They're a machine that just keeps going...

HOWEVER, to be fair Ireland should have beaten them and if we (England) had the slightest bit of creativity to compliment our forwards efforts we should have beaten them, and those teams deserve applauds for raising their intensity levels to match the AB's.

I certainly dont dislike the AB's...the challenge is for those teams and others like Wales etc is to raise the intensity and to actually beat them.


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Tue 26 Nov 2013, 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by SecretFly Tue 26 Nov 2013, 11:00 am

World peace suffered Sunday night but only Irish fans would realise why.

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