Rugby union in New Zealand continues to thrive, with the All Blacks, across all formats of the game, an exceptional talent who just have a habit of picking up trophy after trophy.
The exploits of the All Blacks in the 15-man game is impressive, whilst in the seven-a-side game, New Zealand once again find themselves on top of the world.
The 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens have just been held in San Francisco, where the All Blacks impressed, completing a historic double, with the men crowned champions alongside the women.
New Zealand’s women’s side beat France comprehensively in the final, winning 29-0, whilst in the men’s code, the All Blacks defeated England 33-12 in San Francisco.
South Africa and Fiji continue to top the rankings in the sevens game, but again, on the world stage, New Zealand came out on top and picked up another trophy, which is something we have become familiar with in the 15-man code.
The All Blacks have won back to back World Cups, winning the 2011 competition on home soil, before heading to England in 2015 and securing a second successive Webb Ellis Cup.
The likes of Richie McCaw and Dan Carter were key to those successes, but that exceptional duo are no longer around, as New Zealand look for a hat-trick of World Cup trophies in Japan next year.
Japan will host the 2019 Rugby Union World Cup, with all eyes set to be on New Zealand in Asia, as they look to cement their place as immortals in the world of rugby.
Currently, the All Blacks are priced as heavy favourites to pick up a third consecutive World Cup victory, with bet365’s rugby union betting market pricing Steve Hansen’s side at 11/10 to come out victorious. New Zealand’s biggest challenge is expected to come from the Northern Hemisphere, with Ireland and England improving drastically over the last three years.
There’s a difference between New Zealand and their Northern Hemisphere rivals, however. In New Zealand, the people live and breathe rugby, specifically Rugby Union. They are brought up on it and it is their national sport. In England, there isn’t the same attitude to the 15-man game. Where New Zealand churn out successful team after successful team, England don’t. The Red Rose go through phases where they look unstoppable, and phases where nothing goes their way.
The All Blacks are born winners when it comes to rugby, which came to light in the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, particularly in the men’s final against England.
The amount of success New Zealand have had in the modern era of Rugby Union has to be admired, whether it be in the Sevens or in the 15-man code. Winning is a habit that so many nations just can’t get to grips with. However, in New Zealand, and particularly in rugby, it comes naturally and following their double in the sevens, the nation will be expecting Hansen’s side to back that up in Japan next year by bringing home a third consecutive Webb Ellis Cup.