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Rugby World Cup

Rem

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The Rugby World Cup starts tonight with an opening ceremony and the first game of the series to be played at the Sydney Olympic Stadium (now named Telstra Stadium).

The first game is between Austalia (Wallabies) and Argentina (Pumas). Australia would normally beat the Pumas but there are plenty of reasons they will struggle tonight. The Wallabies should get home. I will be going to the game and will post some pics on Monday.

Everyone should be able to find a team to support - the USA and Canada :c: have both qualified. For Skel, Uruguay and Argentina have qualified (though given the way rivalries work you will probably want to support their opposition). Gatherace has Ireland in, and there are 20 countries in all.

The favourites are England but I think they will falter in the final after six weeks of games on hard Australian fields - they are used to slower, softer fields in England and they have an ageing line up. No northern hemisphere country has ever won the world cup. The second favourite is New Zealand and they are my pick (yeah yeah all right JNL). They have a younger, improving side. Their biggest test is likely to come from Australia in the semi-finals (if Australia make it that far - they have drawn the toughest group with three leading countries fighting for two spots in the play off rounds). Other countries I expect to surprise with their success are France and Ireland.

It's exciting for me, and probably JNL, so I think it only fair that I go out of my way between now and the final on 22 November to bore you with details. Something like the baseball, ice hockey and American football discussions we otherwise have here.

If you want the unbiased version, try here

Cheers and let the games begin :b:.
 

Trail Nazi

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REM, do you play at all? I have always wanted to play, but I would probably want to tackle people all of the time for absolutely no reason.

You must keep us updated on your team.
 

JNL

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Rem said:
The second favourite is New Zealand and they are my pick (yeah yeah all right JNL).
'nuff said :-}

I sooo wish I could be there for the semi-final game on Nov 15 (assuming Australia can get through that far, to take us on).

Sorry, can't resist... yes it will be an exciting few weeks.
 

Rem

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Trail Nazi said:
REM, do you play at all?
No longer - I gave it up to be a good family man. Have been thinking about some golden oldie tournaments recently but work and family committments make that very difficult. I was mainly a rugby league player and only played a few seasons of rugby union.

If you are interested in playing you should give it a go - tackling players without the ball is frowned upon but you can usually get away with it.;)
 

SkeLeton

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What? Chile is not there? Oh I forgot we sucked at rugby... and soccer... and... (Should I go on?) But we did have a nº1 Tennis player...:p

If it's Uruguay vs Argentina... I go with Uruguay... [bad_joke]afterall they did crash on our mountains....[/bad_joke] :p (sorry uruguay)
 

JNL

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You sure about that SkeL? These are the odds that the NZ TAB (sports betting agency) is paying at the moment for tournament winner:

1 $5.25 Australia
2 $2.00 New Zealand
3 $2.80 England
4 $25.00 South Africa
5 $11.00 France
6 $60.00 Ireland
7 $80.00 Argentina
8 $250.00 Scotland
9 $250.00 Wales
10 $250.00 Fiji
11 $500.00 Samoa
12 $1500.00 Italy
13 $2000.00 Canada
14 $2000.00 USA
15 $2000.00 Japan
16 $2000.00 Romania
17 $5000.00 Namibia
18 $5000.00 Uruguay
19 $5000.00 Georgia
20 $2000.00 Tonga

Odds displayed are for NZ$1.
Last Updated On: Friday, 10 October 2003 16:24:14 NZT
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
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I'm playing in a 7s tournament next weekend. I haven't played in 3 years, I'm gonna get crushed :)
 

Rem

Cyburbian
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RWC Game 1

I've posted some pics in the Members Gallery. I'm a bit busy this morning - will try to post some rugby news later today.
 

Rem

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No surprises on the first three days of RWC 2003 with all the favourites winning their matches. Australia had the closest match, beating Argentina 24 - 8. The biggest score over the weekend was 84 - 6, England over Georgia.

Canada lost to Wales 41 - 10. Skel's adopted team Uruguay went down 72 - 6 to South Africa. New Zealand thrashed Italy 70 - 7.

Two photos from the opening cermony below (there are a couple more in the member galleries).

RWC 2003 Opening Ceremony

1524031010_Opening_ceremony_3-med.jpg

RWC 2003, National Anthems for Game 1

1524031010_National_anthem-med.jpg

USA's first match is Wednesday against Fiji. Despite Fiji losing 61 - 18 to France on Saturday, they would be expected to beat USA comfortably.
 

biscuit

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JNL said:
These are the odds that the NZ TAB (sports betting agency) is paying at the moment for tournament winner:

1 $5.25 Australia
2 $2.00 New Zealand
3 $2.80 England
4 $25.00 South Africa
5 $11.00 France
6 $60.00 Ireland
7 $80.00 Argentina
8 $250.00 Scotland
9 $250.00 Wales
10 $250.00 Fiji
11 $500.00 Samoa
12 $1500.00 Italy
13 $2000.00 Canada
14 $2000.00 USA
15 $2000.00 Japan
16 $2000.00 Romania
17 $5000.00 Namibia
18 $5000.00 Uruguay
19 $5000.00 Georgia
20 $2000.00 Tonga

Odds displayed are for NZ$1.
Last Updated On: Friday, 10 October 2003 16:24:14 NZT
Put me in for $500.00 on Georgia. If I know anyting it's that bunch of Good ole Boys from places like Augusta and Toccoa probably know a thing or two about tackling. Time to make some money off those rednecks. ;)


I played a little rugby in college and have to give props to the guys who can manage to do it professionally - I have never hurt so much in my life. But then again, do we honestly expect any group of people who drink as much beer as rugby players do to really feel any pain.
 

biscuit

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Mike D. said:
Maybe I should have been a little more clear about that.
I played on a civic league in Charleston, SC during my freshman year - before class schedules prevented me from playing - Not on any college team. Heck, my high school didn't even have football or soccer teams so no way I was doing sport on a college level. I just learned as I went along, probably sucking the entire time. Besides, I'm not even sure if there are any NCAA rugby teams.

It was a good, albeit painful, workout.
 

Suburb Repairman

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biscuit said:
Maybe I should have been a little more clear about that.
I played on a civic league in Charleston, SC during my freshman year - before class schedules prevented me from playing - Not on any college team. Heck, my high school didn't even have football or soccer teams so no way I was doing sport on a college level. I just learned as I went along, probably sucking the entire time. Besides, I'm not even sure if there are any NCAA rugby teams.

It was a good, albeit painful, workout.
My university has a rugby team, but it's more like a club team. We play other schools, but I don't think they fall under NCAA guidelines. Rugby is such a cool sport! Twice as brutal as American football with half the padding!
 

SkeLeton

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biscuit said:
Put me in for $500.00 on Georgia. If I know anyting it's that bunch of Good ole Boys from places like Augusta and Toccoa probably know a thing or two about tackling. Time to make some money off those rednecks. ;)


I played a little rugby in college and have to give props to the guys who can manage to do it professionally - I have never hurt so much in my life. But then again, do we honestly expect any group of people who drink as much beer as rugby players do to really feel any pain.
Dude, it's not the US state of Georgia... but the Soviet nation of Georgia... :p

Oh and BTW I was kidding about uruguay.. I didn't know they sucked that much...(imagine how much does Chile suck in rugby)
 

biscuit

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SkeLeton said:
Dude, it's not the US state of Georgia... but the Soviet nation of Georgia... :p
Was only a poor attempt at geographic humor my Chilean friend. :)
 

Jeff

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biscuit said:
Besides, I'm not even sure if there are any NCAA rugby teams.

No, USA Rugby is not affiliated with the NCAA.

Mike D. (Flanker on the 13th place team in the 1997 Collegiate Nationals, WOO HOO)
 

moose

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I played on my colleges' womens' rugby team for a few months. Just enough to figure out that I was WAY over my head. The team consisted almost entirely out of the women's soccer team, and I just wasn't nearly athletic enough to keep up. But I had a ball. It rains a ton where I went to school, so it was always a good romp in the mud!
 

Jeff

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You could always take up naked womens mud wrestling if its a romp in the mud that you're looking for.
 

moose

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Mike D. said:
You could always take up naked womens mud wrestling if its a romp in the mud that you're looking for.
No, not for me thanks. But it sounds like something _you're_ interested in....
 

giff57

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moose said:
It's a long running joke around here, search for "dutch women's rugby" and read some of the resulting threads.....

EG.....where is the FAQ you were going to write?
 

Rem

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Argentina v. Namibia

Last night I went to the second of only two relatively 'local' games - played at Gosford about one hour in the train towards Sydney from Lake Macquarie.

We saw Argentina beat Namibia 74 - 14. Pics on Friday - I'm out of the office tomorrow and the camera is at home (uploading from home is hopeless). One up for Skel's continentmen (probably not a word but they share a continent and if they shared a country they would be ....)

Tonight USA take on Fiji - stand by your radios for score updates. No photos this time (the game is in Brisbane).

The first (and potentially only) Cyburbia RWC Grudge Match (TM) is coming up this Friday with JNL's fancied All Blacks taking on Tranplanner et al's Rugby minnows, Canada.

Go the southern hemisphere!!!!
 

jmf

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Re: Argentina v. Namibia

Rem said:
The first (and potentially only) Cyburbia RWC Grudge Match (TM) is coming up this Friday with JNL's fancied All Blacks taking on Tranplanner et al's Rugby minnows, Canada.
Minnows is being very kind - krill would be more appropriate. After Canada's performance against Wales the other night (which I haven't watched yet, although I have it taped) I am expecting quite a rout. However, it may be a great chance for NZ to show-off their pretty set plays!
 

SkeLeton

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The recent results...

Fiji 19 - US 18
Italy 36 - Tonga 12

Wow.. the US lost against Fiji... :p

Halloween looks interesting :)

Friday 31 October

1930 (0830 GMT): France v USA (B) Wollongong
 

Rem

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Chilean Rugby

SkeLeton said:
Oh and BTW I was kidding about uruguay.. I didn't know they sucked that much...(imagine how much does Chile suck in rugby)
Chilean Rugby has a proud but short history. You can read about it here.

They have an impressive largest winning margin, 102 - 0 v. Paraguay, and that was this year.

Skel as for your comment about USA losing to Fiji - have a look at the list of recent results for Chile. USA can be proud of that game, they were narrowly beaten by a team that regularly wins the World Rugby Sevens and has a good core of professional players. The match report says it all - very unlucky USA. The Australian Coach had some encouraging words also - but that's because Australians are nice. Unlike JNL's unseemly predictions aboutthe mayhem that is about to befall Canada. Unfortunately she is probably right.
 

jmf

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I have seen worse

The final score was 68-6, match details are here

And, hey, we held them off for 18 minutes.
 

SkeLeton

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Rem, unlike you, I'm not a fan of rugby, and I personally don't care much about it.. Chile may have beatten the sh*t out of Paraguay once, but they didn't even classify for this world cup.

For some strange reason, Chile's general populace is obsessed with soccer, and even though we suck big time, the general populace cheers and celebrates ties (like the more or less recent tie with Argentina for the 2006 World Cup), and I personally find that pathetic... You can clearly see that I'm not a fan of soccer either, and actually not of any sport, except mabye cyclism, which is interesting to see, at least the Chile Tour. :)
 

JNL

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Re: I have seen worse

jmf said:
The final score was 68-6, match details are here

And, hey, we held them off for 18 minutes.
Yeah, not a bad effort :)

Some of the Canadian team weren't bad looking either... Eye candy makes the game so much more enjoyable :-D
 

Rem

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SkeLeton said:
Rem, unlike you, I'm not a fan of rugby, and I personally don't care much about it....:)
Hence my mission here is to lift the cloak of ignorance and help you to see how much better your life will be looking at it through Rugby coloured glasses;).
 

Rem

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Re: I have seen worse

jmf said:
... And, hey, we held them off for 18 minutes.
18 Minutes of glory - then reality.

If you get the chance to see a replay of the England/South Africa game, it's a cracker.

England were very impressive and are making me nervous about my prediction for an All Blacks World Cup. The All Blacks rely on opposition mistakes in good field position to put them to the sword (they force mistakes with their ferocious defence), but England were great in the face of some tremendous SA pressure. Maybe they can starve NZ of mistakes and finally win a World Cup. NZ showed even against Canada they aren't as effective in set play and they are losing some key players to injury.

Australia had a big win over Romania (92-8) but still managed to look sloppy for extended periods. In other games on the weekend, Japan got close to upsetting France until the French ran away with it in the final quarter and Wales were lucky to win over Tonga - goal kicking and cheap penalties costing Tonga the match after they scored 2 tries to 3.

The USA's next game is tonight against Scotland - I expect they will frighten Scotland but succumb in the end.
 

Dan

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JNL said:
You sure about that SkeL? These are the odds that the NZ TAB (sports betting agency) is paying at the moment for tournament winner:
1 $5.25 Australia
2 $2.00 New Zealand
[snip]
Where's Zim? Are they excluded this year, or weren't they able to field a team?

By the way, this looks badass. Wheelchair rugby. Good on 'em!

 

jmf

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Re: Re: I have seen worse

JNL said:
Yeah, not a bad effort :)

Some of the Canadian team weren't bad looking either... Eye candy makes the game so much more enjoyable :-D
That is what I said about the Australian side which toured Canada a few years ago....John Eales and Owen Finnegan.....



 

JNL

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Re: Re: Re: I have seen worse

jmf said:
That is what I said about the Australian side which toured Canada a few years ago....John Eales and Owen Finnegan.....
Ewww!! This is more like it..... Daniel Carter, up & coming goalkicker

 

Rem

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Scotland v. USA
As expected Scotland won this game despite some tough resistance and good forward play from USA. The match report is here if you are interested.

Argentina v. Namibia
I hadn't yet uploaded pictures form the game I went to last week. The game was in Godford, about midpoint between Lake Macquarie and Sydney (south of here) and 1 hour on the train. I know you have all been holding your breath ;-)so here they are. Argentina pale blue and white, Namibia red, white and blue.

The Pre-Match National Anthems.
1524031014_Antems_2-med.jpg
Attacking Line-Out for Argentina. They score shortly after.
1524031014_Namibia_v_Argentina_1-med.jpg
Argentina score another first half try.
1524031014_Namibia_v_Argentina_2-med.jpg
Namibia score their second try, mid-way through the second half.
1524031014_Try_for_Namibia-med.jpg

Rugby Hunks
I think jmf's post gives hope to "Rugged" men everywhere.
jmf said:
That is what I said about the Australian side which toured Canada a few years ago....John Eales and Owen Finnegan.....

Unfortunately for you jmf, John Eales has retired and Owen Finnegan was not selected so both are missing from RWC 2003.
 

Jeff

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They had the All Blacks vs Canucks game on here last night ( a little late) Canada has no business playing NZ. They got spizzanked!

To make it fair NZ needs to come to Canada to play some hockey
 

jmf

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This just in

Well, Canada is out of it - they had to beat Italy by 4 tries and the final score was 19-14 for Italy. Perhaps they can pull off a win against Tonga to finish on a better note.

BTW, JNL, Eales and Finnegan looked much better in person - I couldn't really find pics to do them justice. Plus Finnegan was really very nice. Carter, though, does have a certain, ahem, appeal.

I am not sure if any of the Aussies who were in Canada made the squad this year - I don't remember many of the names - I think Matt Burke was one, there was also quite a young lock/2nd row (I think he was 17, that would have been in '95 or '96) who was a liitle overwhelmed by the attention he received at the bar.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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Just to piss everybody off, play some American football, and do some drugs. Oh wait Rugby's closer to reality. Now where's the beer?:b:
 

JNL

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Rumpy Tuna said:
Oh wait Rugby's closer to reality. Now where's the beer?:b:
Mmmmm beer :b:

Since it's practically compulsory to drink beer while watching rugby, and there's lots of rugby on at the moment, there's a lot of beer being drunk.

Must pick up some more on the way home!
 

Rem

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Re: This just in

jmf said:
I am not sure if any of the Aussies who were in Canada made the squad this year - I don't remember many of the names - I think Matt Burke was one, there was also quite a young lock/2nd row (I think he was 17, that would have been in '95 or '96) who was a liitle overwhelmed by the attention he received at the bar.
Matt Burke is in the squad, and is back in the starting line up after yet another recovery from injury. Here is a link to his profile and here is a pic:



The young guy may have been George Smith:



Everyone's favourite at the moment seems to be Wendell Sailor though:
 

jmf

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Re: Re: This just in

Rem said:
The young guy may have been George Smith:

Nope, that's not him - this guy was very blond. I had a quick look through the pics but didn't see him - not that I would definitely recognize him now.....
 

DA Monkey

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Rwc

As the competition reached the half way mark, rugby fans around the world were seen gathering in groups of 15, towling themselves down, eating oranges and discussing tactics for the second half. With 16 pool matches to go then 8 finals, there is still plenty of rugby left in the tournament. On Saturday, Australia's point-per-minute demolition of Romania was only 3 points shy of the Wallabies highest ever score in a test match - the 92-10 defeat of Spain in Madrid in 2001. Nevertheless it was great to see the ball being thrown out wide and the backline having plenty of space to run in. Perhaps the Wallabies B side can top this score against Namibia this weekend. And tonight we see the return of the All Blacks to Brisbane.... not since 1996 have we seen them play here..... the last game being at Lang Park which they won against Australia 32-25. All together now ....Ka Mate Ka Mate Ka Ora.....:b: :-D
 

JNL

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All Blacks 91, Tonga 7

And Friday saw another victory for the All Blacks! :-} But despite the big score, 91-7 against Tonga, there were quite a few handling errors which is a bit worrying... Great kicking though, all 13 tries converted.

Will be interesting to see whether we play Samoa (who had a great game against England) or South Africa in the quarter finals.

Oh yeah, and the US beat Japan 39-26, their first win at the tournament since beating Japan in 1987 :)
 

Rem

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USA Breaks RWC Drought

The USA Eagles beat the Japan Cherry Blossoms (hardly seems a fair match up between the mascots) 39 - 26 last night in Gosford. The USA's first RWC win since 1987. Here is the full story.

Australia also won on the weekend, 142 - 0 over Namibia. Sadly the Namibians didn't show the enthusiasm they had in previous games. Maybe they are hoping to save their efforts for their last pool match against the other winless team in their pool - Romania. Based on Saturday's performance, I don't think they can win.
 

Rem

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Pool Games Finished - Losers Going Home (sorry losers)

The pool games are over and the teams of interest that are taking no further part include USA and Canada (1 win each) together with Uruguay (no wins) and Argentina (2 wins).

Teams still alive in the tournament, in their quarter final pairings are:
New Zealand v. Sth Africa
Australia v. Scotland
France v. Ireland
England v. Wales

(My tips NZ, Oz, Fr & Eng.)

The winners of the first two and second two match ups play off for a spot in the final. Three of the leading teams (England, New Zealand & Australia) had at least one difficult game in the lead up to the elimination round while France continue to move forward without drama.

New Zealand are continuing to lose important players to injury, England have lost one key player and Australia and France have no injuries to front line players. New Zealand and England have been exposed by agressive attacking plays and Australia has handling and line out problems. France is yet to have a weakness exposed but it has not yet faced a difficult opponent.

Next weekend the real drama unfolds.
 

JNL

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All Blacks set Tournament Records

Shaky All Blacks still set the scoring pace

The All Blacks may not have delivered emphatic performances by the end of pool play in the rugby World Cup but they continue to set the benchmark in the tournament's scoring statistics.

The 42 tries and 282 points New Zealand have amassed over their four pool games are tournament records.

It is the fourth time in five World Cups that the All Blacks have led the way in tries and points in the preliminary rounds, the one exception being 1991 when they were third.

The previous points scoring record of 222 points was also held by New Zealand, from just three games at the 1995 tournament. It has also been surpassed here by Australia (273) and England (255).

The All Blacks and France are the only two nations with a perfect winning record in World Cup pool matches.

A potentially ominous statistic is that Australia have conceded just 32 points, the least of any team.

They based their victory four years ago on having the stingiest defence.

The All Blacks' 42 tries have been spread around, with more than half the squad having scored.

Leading the tournament tryscoring list are Doug Howlett and Mils Muliaina on six each, just two short of the tournament record eight set by winger Jonah Lomu in 1999.

Howlett's two tries against Wales saw him become the fifth All Black to reach 30 test tries after Christian Cullen, Jeff Wilson, Lomu and John Kirwan.

An indication of the All Blacks' expansive style is that fellow-wingers Joe Rokocoko and Caleb Ralph are also among the tournament leaders, with four tries each.

Goalkicking centre Leon MacDonald was successful with his first 16 conversion attempts, beating the former record of 12 held by Simon Culhane.

The All Blacks cleared 50 points for the seventh time this year, easily surpassing the former mark of five times in 1997. It is unclear if they have set a world record.

Their 16th straight win over Wales extends New Zealand's longest winning run against any test opponent.

Their current winning streak against all teams has reached 10, the equal second best in All Blacks history.

They won 12 in a row in 1988-90 but are still some way off the record of 17 set by the 1965-70 All Blacks.
 
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