The All Blacks crowned a very good Rugby World Cup for the people of New Zealand by taking the trophy again after twenty-four years of failure. It had been expected that they would have an easy ride against the French but our great game threw up the usual surprise as France took the game to the All Blacks and had their chances to win. The good news for the Kiwis was they just came up short and so it was that the All Blacks took the trophy 8-7.
New Zealand are in Rugby World Cup Pool A along with France, Tonga, Canada and Japan. The whole of New Zealand will be backing the Kiwi's with rugby being the national sport and the contest at home. This pool should not test the mighty Blacks, although they will be wary of the French who have caused problems in the past, however they should qualify with ease racking up some big scores and easy wins on the way.
New Zealand won the first Rugby World Cup in 1987, but have since failed to repeat their success. They had a disaster in France in 2007 when as big favourties the slipped up in Wales at he Millennium Stadium losing 18-20 to hosts France in the quarter-finals. They lost out in the semi-finals in 2003 when favourites in Australia loosing to the hosts who they had also lost to at the same stage in 1991,again in the semi's to France in 1999. In 1995 they came closest, losing after extra time to South Africa in the final.
The New Zealand team's pre-match Haka is well known and feared.
Currently ranked first in the world, New Zealand's Rugby World Cup record is still impressive, averaging over 45 points a match in all their appearances. The All Blacks performance in France 2007 as losing quarter-finalists ensured their automatic selection for 2011.
The new All Blacks shirts are available now. The shirt has changed little over the years with the colour scheme staying true to All Blacks history. This time out we have one major change, as Adidas have given the black shirt a white collar. The shirt features the Rugby World Cup logo, with the slim fit style favoured by all the top sides. To place your order and view other New Zealand shirts visit the New Zealand Shirts page.
Much will be decided by the form of Daniel Carter now one of the best recognised faces in world rugby and on his day possibly better than Jonny Wilkinson at his prime. Things happen when he is around, so if he's on song expect a stunning performance from the exciting All Blacks' threes. Coach Graham Henry has also got a mobile pack of forwards so New Zealand as hosts will be firm favourites yet again for a World Cup success having comfortably won pool A.