Tag Archives: New Zealand national rugby union team

French Toast


Even the Band Does the Haka

Well, this is a post on the run.  Having  just recently nervously survived watching the Rugby World Cup final in which the team I was supporting, the New Zealand All Blacks hung on to beat France 8 points to 7 points, I am now at the airport awaiting my flight to Mongolia.

Already the celebrations are going on all over New Zealand and amongst their fans around the world.  Apparently, one newspaper headlines reads, “French Toast”. Hahaha.  Although that is not really fair cause the French team played really well and looked liked they could have stolen the game but the All Blacks will savour the victory even if it is by one point.

All Blacks - Celebrate as World Champions 2011

Observant readers will have noted that the Lone Grey Squirrel is in transit to the land of Genghis Khan where the men are tough, the women tough and the food tougher.  All Blacks beware, there is great potential for a Mongolian rugby team.

Future World Rugby Champions?

Rumble in the South Pacific


There is war in the South Pacific!  Once every four years, warriors from some 20 nations meet in contest on the field of war.  This testosterone laden spectacular is known as the Rugby World Cup and in 2011, it is being fought on New Zealand soil.

For rugby fans like the squirrel, the next six weeks is an adrenaline feast of action, drama and machismo strutting.   New Zealand’s team, also known as the All  Blacks are the winning-est team in rugby union history.  They have won 75% of their international matches since records started in 1903.   Only 5 other nations have ever defeated them in a game.  They are also the leading point scorers of all time and the only international team with a winning record against every other nation that they have ever played.

Yet, despite such credentials, New Zealand has only won the Rugby World Cup once in 1987 which was the very inaugural World Cup.  Since then, Australia won twice in 1991 and 1999;  South Africa also won twice in 1995 and 2007; while England picked up the title in 2003.

South Africa returned to world cup rugby only in 1995 after being boycotted due to its apartheid policies.  However, with Nelson Mandela at the helm of the country, he made it a point of ensuring that South Africa’s team was racially integrated and represented all South Africans.  Much beyond expectation, the team,the Springboks, managed to narrowly defeat New Zealand in the finals and in doing so helped galvanise and unite the newly democratic nation.  This inspirational story is captured in the Clint Eastwood film, “Invictus” which starred Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.

Based on performances in the last four years, the All Blacks should be the overwhelming favorites and they were named the international team of the year for 2006, 2008 and 2010.  Yet, they lost their last two international matches immediately before this World Cup against arch-rivals  Australia and  South Africa and that makes some wonder if the All Blacks will continue to under perform in this World Cup.  Based on recent form, Australia must be considered a real threat to All Black’s aspirations.

I know that has been a lot of sports talk in the paragraphs above.  So as compensation to the ladies, I offer to you a video of hunky, sweaty men and much testosterone flying about.  This is the confrontation between New Zealand and the Pacific island nation of Tonga in the opening match of this Rugby World Cup 2011.  Both teams perform their traditional Haka (New Zealand) and Sipi Tau (Tonga) which are their respective, traditional ways of offering a challenge to their enemies on the field of war.  Be afraid……be very afraid.

Vodpod videos no longer available.