The most successful rugby team in the world is the New Zealand All Blacks. They have achieved three Rugby World Cups and have a win-rate of more than 75%, something no other team can say. But how has a nation of just 4.8 million people mastered an entire sport?
Rugby is a rough game. Players wear little to no protective gear as they fight to bring the ball past the goal line. A match involves two teams and lasts 80 minutes. Each 15-player team can run and kick the ball forward, but when passing to teammates, a player can only pass the ball backward.
New Zealand’s winning streak began in 1903 with its first international game against Australia. From there, they gained winning momentum, and in 1905, they were invited on a tour of Europe and North America. At each match, they proved resilient, dedicated, and determined to defeat their opponent. The team achieved sporting fame by winning all but one of their 35 matches—a 0-3 loss in the game against Wales in Cardiff.
It was during this tour that the All Blacks name emerged. Although opinions differ, the widely accepted view is that the name comes from their uniform of black shorts and jersey with a silver fern on the chest. This jersey has inspired deep respect, and those who wear it are admired and idolized. The Maori believe the jersey embodies the spirit of the team and call it taonga (TAA-ong-uh), a sacred object. It symbolizes a New Zealander’s opportunity to become the best in the world.
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Three Birds OF NEW ZEALAND
Before humans settled in New Zealand, the lush native plants fed an incredible variety of birds. As bird species developed through time, some did not need wings because they had no natural predators. Here are three bird stars that you won’t find in the sky—the kiwi, the weka, and the little blue penguin.
The First Trip to New Zealand
A group of people in long wooden canoes set sail from East Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean about 800 years ago. For days, they voyaged southwest. Strong currents and gusts of winds pounded them. Still, they pushed on.
THE ALL BLACKS
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SEARCHING for HEROES
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The Island of Birds
Imagine an island untouched by humans and without any large mammals. Colorful and strange birds of all shapes and sizes swoop over lush forests and seaside hills.
RUNNING OF THE SHEEP
Lots of people have heard of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, but did you know that in New Zealand, there is an annual running of the sheep? The Te Kuiti Shearing Championships Running of the Sheep is held in late March or early April. The Saturday afternoon event is part of the Great New Zealand Muster.
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You might think that you don’t know very much about New Zealand, but chances are that you have seen it.
New Zealand – High Five
Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is known for its stunning landscapes. New Zealanders are passionate about protecting their land and their culture. Here are five fascinating facts to get you started.
Living Above The Boiling Earth
You know immediately that something strange is going on in the city of Rotorua.
If you travel to Te Puke (teh POOK-ee), a town on the northern coast of New Zealand, you will see strange orchards. Instead of rows of trees, these orchards have rows of short wooden frames called pergolas, on which twining vines grow. The fuzzy, brown fruit that grows on these vines is the reason Te Puke calls itself the Kiwifruit Capital of the World.
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Come On Samoa, Let's Have One Big Upset!
Brendan Gallagher recalls the glory of Samoa and asks when will it return at the World Cup?
Expect A Reaction After Rob's Departure
This Welsh squad keep being put through the mill off the field. It really is far from ideal as they prepare for the biggest tournament of their lives.
We'll Fight Tongan Fire With Fire Says Eddie
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Let The Counties Reps Run Our Amateur Game
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Eddie Will Find Tonga Give Focus To His Men
England play their first match of the World Cup today against a Tongan team that will be strong, aggressive and direct but it should be the perfect game for Eddie Jones to start England’s campaign.
Alfie Will Be ‘Allright, Butt'
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Ace Segun Leads Way For Sarries Super Kids
Rampant Rotimi Segun showed just why Sarries believe he is a wing wizard in the making as the former England junior raced over for a try double at the Ricoh Arena.
All Blacks Give Proof They're Still The Boss
New Zealand posted notice that their bid for a third successive World Cup title is alive and well by ruthlessly seeing off a South African side predicted to be their main challengers.
Bracing For A Beer Run
Japan’s bars are lining up extra brews ahead of rugby’s biggest tournament.