If there is a single international sporting phenomenon which marks the early 21st century, it is New Zealand’s extraordinary dominance of rugby. Once upon a time, Brazil ruled the world when it came to soccer, ditto for the United States in basketball. Australia has been the leading light at cricket, on and off, and at women’s netball most of the time. But none of these comes even close to New Zealand’s increasingly comprehensive sweep of rugby titles across the board. It is unimaginable that the All Blacks would succumb the abject way the once great Brazil did at the hands of Germany at the last football World Cup. Think about the sheer scale of this. New Zealand teams have won the men’s World Cup, the women’s World Cup, the age group championship and World Sevens tournaments with monotonous regularity. The All Blacks are the first team to win back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles. The Black Ferns have done that several times and are, perennially, the team to beat, as are the Junior All Blacks, who have won the world title more than any other country. As for the sevens, the New Zealand team has won 12 of 16 titles, even… Read full this story
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