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Why Do the All Blacks Struggle to Win the Rugby World Cup?
Let’s face it…Most people who follow the sport of rugby will agree that the New Zealand All Black rugby team is simply the best rugby team in the world…hands down. Their win ratio over all countries is unbeaten by any team and they’ve been showing this consistently since the game’s inception, and it looks like that trend is likely to continue for generations to come.
The reason they are so successful is their ability to raise their game and use modern innovative game tactics designed to stay one step ahead of the competition. So if they are the team that consistently beats everyone else, then why are the All Blacks struggling to add another Rugby World Cup to their trophy cabinet?
Since winning the inaugural tournament in 1987, the trophy cabinet has been barer than Grandma Hubbard!
There are those who have forwarded suggestions that the All Blacks have developed an arrogant attitude towards the rest of the rugby world, nurtured by their success. True or not, many countries have used the All Black blueprint and made great strides in emulating it in the last few years.
Now consider this…. New Zealand is a rugby mad nation and their fan base and union bosses expect them to win every test and competition they enter. While a loss is often seen as nothing short of a national disaster, it can be just as bad to win a game without the expected scintillating performance every time they play. As you can imagine, the pressure on the players and coaching staff to live up to these inherited expectations is immense, as it is with many highly successful teams of various codes around the world.
The All Blacks’ phenomenal success also proved to be their Achilles’ heel, as shown by negative results in the business end of the World Cups. Their World Cup opponents have looked at ways to slow down the speed at which the All Blacks play their rugby. The 2003 and 2007 World Cups were played at a much slower pace and tight forward games based on possession, kicking for territorial gain and snuffing out any hope of running rugby from the semi-finals, thus nullifying the All Blacks’ potent attacking weapons.
These tactics used were at odds with the All Blacks’ fast open style of play which they excel at and the losses suffered at the World Cups were probably due to them being caught out as they were not given time to change their game plan to combat the slow progress tactics from the old school. which were very successfully used against them.
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