Richie’s records

November 2nd, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Some Richie McCaw stats:

  • Only four other players in history have played as many international tests as Richie McCaw has international victories
  • 132 All Blacks have debuted for NZ since McCaw did in 2001
  • Only three of the 15 games McCaw has lost for the All Blacks were by double digit margin
  • NZ Player of the Year  – 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012
  • IRB Player of the Year – 2006, 2009, 2010
  • NZ Sportsman of the Year – 2010, 2011
  • 10 Bledisloe Cups
  • 10 Tri Nations or Rugby Championships Cups
  • Two World Cups

His playing record for the All Blacks:

  • Argentina 10/10
  • Australia 29/36
  • British Lions 2/2
  • Canada 2/2
  • England 12/14
  • Fiji 2/2
  • France 12/13
  • Georgia 1/1
  • Ireland 14/14
  • Italy 3/3
  • Japan 1/1
  • Namibia 1/1
  • Romania 1/1
  • Scotland 7/7
  • Samoa 1/1
  • South Africa 20/26
  • Tonga 2/2
  • Wales 11/11

Overall has won 131 of 148 test matches for a 89.2% success rate.

It is near impossible to declare someone the best rugby player of all time – how do you compare McCaw and Meads, when the game now is so different to the game then. Both are legends. But I think I can safely conclude he is at least the best player in my lifetime.

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Sonny Bill is all class

November 1st, 2015 at 4:30 pm by David Farrar

This is beyond cool. The kid gets tackled by security for running onto the ground, and ends up with Sonny Bill giving him his World Cup Medal. Have you ever seen a bigger grin on a kid?

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It’s ours!

November 1st, 2015 at 6:50 am by David Farrar

I thought it was Dan Carter’s last two kicks that won us the World Cup but that awesome last minute try was the icing on the cake.

What an awesome game and worthy World Cup Final.

The 34-17 score doesn’t reflect how very close it was in that second half until the very end. I got very nervous after the second Wallaby try.

Kudos to the Wallabies for an great match, but well done the All Blacks for retaining the World Cup led by the greatest rugby player of them all – Richie McCaw.

A nation celebrates.

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An amazing Richie stat

October 30th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Of the All Blacks’ 412 victories since 1903, McCaw has been on the field for 32 percent of them. 140 wins in black to be exact.

That’s an incredible stat. Hopefully he’ll make it 141.

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All Blacks 62 France 13

October 18th, 2015 at 10:25 am by David Farrar

The 2007 demons are dead, buried, beatified, and resting peacefully in heaven!

A stunning performance from the All Blacks who scored more points against France in a quarter-final than they did against Argentina, Namibia, Georgia or Tonga in the pool play.

Nine tries is an all time record for a RWC quarter-final.

South Africa’s narrow victory over Wales will have them very nervous for their semi-final against the All Blacks. But we’re in sudden death territory now, so one can only hope for another performance like today.

This match, and the recent Eden Park match against Australia have both seen the All Blacks at near their best. Their best is simply hard to beat. The challenge is to keep the intensity up.

Julian Savea was simply amazing. Three great tries.

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NZ 47 Tonga 9

October 10th, 2015 at 9:57 am by David Farrar

Now that was a great game.

Before it began I said I wanted All Blacks to get four tries, and not concede any.

They scored seven.

And Tonga played really well – best performance I have seen from them. The first 50 minutes saw them very competitive and they came damn close to scoring.

This is just what we needed. A performance that showed our quarter final opponents how formidable we could be, and no injuries (well maybe one). A bit undisciplined at times, but overall a very good performance.

Now all eyes on France vs Ireland to see who we play in the quarter-final. I hope it is France as I’d rather face them earlier on.

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Why Kiwis so celebrate England’s exit from the Rugby World Cup

October 5th, 2015 at 6:59 am by kiwi in america

You’d think after our own ignominious exits from various Rugby World Cups, that we’d spare a thought for the Poms; ejected unceremoniously from their very own RWC. Yeah nah. Not happening.

I was born in England and came to NZ as a young child. I have family there and a deep respect for English culture and history. Then there’s that famous aphorism seen on T shirts in NZ “I cheer for the All Blacks and any team playing Australia”. Whilst it was exciting to see England fight back in the second half and make a contest of it (if only for a portion of the game), I can’t hide the fact that I was rooting for Australia AND thrilled to see the Poms beaten. For most kiwis, this is a no brainer but when you have residual ties to England and I normally am quite pleased when anyone beats the arrogant Aussies, there is a special package of reasons why I personally was so pleased to see England out.

The English players, coaches, selectors and media went into a frenzy when England beat the All Blacks so comprehensively at the end of the Northern Hemisphere tour in December 2012. Steve Hansen gave the hysteria more legs when he opined that England were 2015 RWC title contenders. Since then, the inevitability of England hoisting the Webb Ellis trophy has been the arrogant assumption of English rugby at every level. By the time the tournament started, we were all sick of the smug arrogance of Lancaster and his players who talked about their chances at Fortress Twickenham and of their 2012 victory over New Zealand as if they’d beaten us 5 times in a row!

But it goes deeper than that. Australia rugby writers love the Wallabies and Aussie TV commentary is suitably and typically one eyed – but amongst those who commentate knowledgeably on rugby in Australia, there is a deep and abiding respect for the All Blacks. Not so with the Pommy media scribes. Not only is there far less respect but there is the persistent drum beat of vituperative attacks on key All Blacks the most obvious being the oft repeated claims by English rugby writers that Richie McCaw is a cheat.

As I analysed my glee at seeing what was effectively my own countrymen going down, I reflected on the boorish English crowds. I was at the fateful semi final game in Sydney for the 2003 RWC. I had an All Blacks shirt on so I was fair game for the mostly Australian spectators as I left. There was virtually no taunting or mocking – elation for sure that Australia was in the final, but belying this attitude was the respect Australian rugby fans have for the ABs. Not so English crowds. I’ve never been to Twickers but a good mate now resident in London goes there often to watch internationals and he says the crowds are awful to visiting teams and most especially to New Zealand.

Part of my ambivalence to English rugby is borne of the stultifying, sluggish forwards dominated style of rugby that prevails in England courtesy of their sodden muddy fields which has given us decades of ugly English rugby. But it goes further – it’s the whistle happy pedantic refereeing style that emanates from England and, via England’s historical dominance of the IRB, spills over to almost all the northern hemisphere referees. I’ve come up hard against that as a referee here in the US where English style whistle happy pedantry is the cultural norm among the US raised referees.

Finally, at a gut almost visceral level, we in New Zealand love to see our former colonial masters, the mother country who brought us our national game and who still arrogantly influence the governance of the game internationally, finally not just beaten but utterly humiliated. Roll on a great Australia New Zealand final!!

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58 to 14

September 25th, 2015 at 11:05 am by David Farrar

Not a great score or great display from the top ranked team against the bottom ranked team.

I can only hope they were being extra cautious and not wanting to get any injuries.

But still Namibia managed to score a try, which really should not have happened.

The first two All Black games have been average and the next two games against Georgia and Tonga won’t test the team much before the quarter final.

That will be against the runner up of Pool D. Probably Ireland. And again that may not test up too much. We have never lost to them in 110 years of matches

Then if we get past that a semi vs the winner of Pool B winner and Pool A runner up. The runner up of Pool A will be England or Australia, and I’d say our likely SF competition.  Up until then we will have played no top tier teams while England or Australia will have both played each other, and probably also South Africa.

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26 to 16

September 21st, 2015 at 6:03 am by David Farrar

That was a bit close!

Not good at half time down 12-13 with two All Blacks sin binned.  The score is really Argentina 14 Dan Carter 12. Second half starts badly as it goes 16 to 12 after a few minutes.

Only halfway through the 2nd half did we get the lead back with a converted try. But at 19 to 16 one penalty can tie the game and one try can lose it.

But yes a few minutes later a second converted try gets us 26 to 16 and beyond the danger zone.

Damn good playing from Argentina, and not great playing from the All Blacks. They’re lucky this was a pool game and against a middle power, not a top power.

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Could the NZ Third XV win the World Cup?

September 1st, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Kevin Norquay writes at Stuff:

Here’s a New Zealand team that could win the Rugby World Cup, all made up of leftovers from the All Blacks.

Do I hear you say “that’s mental?” You are so right, it is mental and that’s why this team could win the title.

For a start, they would not be scarred by the pressure of defending the cup – something that’s never been done.

This team would have a point to prove – left out of the All Blacks, they would be out to claim rugby scalps.

So who would be in the left overs team?

  • 15. Israel Dagg
  • 14. Cory Jane
  • 13. George Moala
  • 12. Ryan Crotty
  • 11. Charles Piutau
  • 10. Lima Sopoaga
  • 9. Andy Ellis
  • 8. Brad Shields
  • 7. Ardie Savea
  • 6. Matt Todd
  • 5. Jeremy Thrush
  • 4. James Broadhurst
  • 3. Nepo Laulala
  • 2. Hika Elliott
  • 1. Joe Moody

That would be a pretty damn good team.

I remember in Dunedin the club leagues often had a University A and University B team compete in them, and the final would often be between them. Wouldn’t it be fun if a second NZ team could compete in the World Cup,  and the final was the All Blacks vs New Zealand B :-)

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Sign the petition to support the All Blacks

August 19th, 2015 at 9:59 am by David Farrar


We all want the All Blacks to win (again) the Rugby World Cup. They’re looking good, but victory is by no means assured.

Over the last few years the Labour Party has declared a number of issues to be a crisis – the manufacturing sector, power prices, domestic milk prices, Auckland house prices and the dairy industry, and demanded the Government take action.

Without fail, each time Labour has declared something to be in crisis and demanded Government intervention, that industry or issue has immediately and remarkably improved. Just this week global diary prices rebounded for the first time this year, just one week after Labour declared they were in crisis and demanded the Government act.

So this petition implores the Labour Party to declare New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks to be in crisis. Based on history, this should propel the All Blacks to victory in the Rugby World Cup.

So support the All Blacks by petitioning Labour to declare NZ Rugby in crisis.

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A formidable All Black display

August 16th, 2015 at 7:14 am by David Farrar

It’s a good display from the All Blacks when they score five tries against any of the top tier teams. To do it against Australia was a formidable display of power, pressure and aggression. One of their best matches, which kept the Bledisloe in New Zealand for the 12th time in a row (and 13 consecutive wins)

It was also the last time Richie McCaw would play on Eden Park, and a great game to farewell him, but also celebrate his becoming the most capped player in the history of international rugby.

McCaw is to rugby today, what Colin Meads was to the generation before me.

Amazingly it has been 21 years since the All Blacks lost at Eden Park.

I can recall the late 1990s when Australia beat NZ in the Bledisloe for five years in a row. We started to wonder if we’d ever win it back.

The Herald has some comments on McCaw becoming the most capped player in history:

“Without a doubt he is the greatest All Black of all time. I am convinced that in my lifetime there will not be another player who will captain New Zealand for as many tests, or play as many tests for the All Blacks. He is a remarkable athlete, an outstanding leader and a truly great New Zealander.
John Key, Prime Minister

“I have seen for myself how part of his charm is the way he interacts with the fans and his connectivity with the community is immense. He is a legend. There is even a very small part of me that would like to see Richie and the All Blacks defend their World Cup in the final.”
Nick Farr-Jones, World Cup-winning former Wallaby captain

“As an All Black and Crusaders rugby fan, I feel like I’ve spent half my life cheering on Richie McCaw. He hasn’t quite been around that long, but there’s no denying his stature in the game. For my money he is the greatest All Black we’ve ever had, and therefore the greatest player the world’s ever had!”
Mike McRoberts, TV3 News presenter

“He is so courageous, yet so humble and is a man who is always looking to improve. He is first out the shed and last on the bus. He made others come up to his standards. This has been immensely important to the All Blacks.”
Ian Jones, former All Black

“To me he’s simply the greatest All Black. The toughest, fittest and hardest. 142 brutal and physical full test matches. He’s been to war for his country. At times fighting with one functioning foot.”
Duncan Garner, radio host

“I think all the kids up here just see Richie as theirs. He is Kurow’s most famous kid.”
Deidre Senior, Waitaki Valley School principal

“A leader that others want to follow. Richie is uncompromising and pushes the boundaries to the nth degree. Fair but tough. Winners want the ball and they want to charge forward when others are crippled by fear … In the heat of competition, when his teammates are looking for someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck — up steps Richie.”
Jenny-May Coffin, broadcaster and former Silver Fern

Can’t wait for the Rugby World Cup to begin!

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South Africa and the All Blacks

October 10th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

An interesting piece by Lindiz van Zilla in the Weekend Argus:

I am South African and I support the Springboks. And I will shout for the Springboks when they line up against the All Blacks at Ellis Park today. But this wasn’t always the case. …

My heroes, our heroes, were Jeff Wilson, Andrew Mehrtens, Josh Kronfeld and Sean Fitzpatrick. Those with Maori or other South Sea island heritage were held in even greater esteem. Glen Osborne, Jonah Lomu, the centre pairing of Frank Bunce and Walter Little, Graeme Bachop, Ian Jones and Zinzan Brooke were idolised like no Springbok star ever could be.

We were being represented by men from New Zealand. In them lay our pride, our dreams, our resistance to the racist dinosaur that was South African rugby.

All we could think of was how apartheid had denied our greatest talents like Eric Majola, Millin Petersen, Cassiem Jabaar, Peter Makata, Charlie Davids and Salie Fredericks the opportunity to play for the country of their birth. Simply because of the colour of their skin.

For years, nay generations, the All Blacks had been our chosen ones. Our instrument of opposition. Ask any long-standing South African All Black supporter and the answer will invariably be “for as long as I can remember”.

And this carried on for a long time:

A sizeable contingent of these New Zealand-supporting fans and like-minded fan groupings, mainly from Port Elizabeth, therefore make it their business every year to follow the All Blacks to whichever Test venue in South Africa the team is playing at. Last year it was the FNB Stadium, today Ellis Park.

The uniqueness and peculiarity of this phenomenon is something that even the All Black players and management have over the years found a little odd. Where else in the world do you find a people, be they indigenous or from a colonial background, who so vociferously support a team from another country?

Most South Africans find this anomaly disturbing and perhaps it is this extreme notion of nationality and patriotism that exacerbates the levels of ill-feeling between local Springbok and All Blacks supporters.

And why does this anti-Springbok sentiment run so deep in large sections of the coloured community and not in the black African rugby fraternity, which also boasted a wonderful and rich history in the heartland of the Eastern Cape and which also suffered – and still suffers – the ravages of apartheid?

And why only rugby? Surely cricket has as racially divisive a past as the 15-man sports code.

More than two decades on from unification in cricket and Cricket South Africa is considering anew quotas for black African players in domestic cricket. Why then is there no such fervent support in the Cape for cricket teams from other countries?

It has been an interesting phenomenon.

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How the Haka has changed

October 28th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

I love this video looking at how the All Black haka was done in 1973 and today. The 1973 recital wouldn’t even scare Little Miss Muffet, to put it bluntly.

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Well done the French

October 23rd, 2011 at 10:52 pm by David Farrar

Well the New Zealand All Blacks are the world champions by 8 points to 7. Let the celebrations begin!!!!

But full credit to the French who played a magnificent game, and performed so very very well that they must be gutted not to have won, but should be proud of their play.

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Electoral signs and broadcasts

October 4th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Derek Cheng reports:

Their opponents are calling it desperate opportunism, but the Labour Party insists their black billboards are nothing more than a clever way to show support for the All Blacks.

One can show support by blogging about the team. Spending a large proportion of your limited campaign budget on billboards about the All Blacks is about politics, not sports.

About 40 billboards around Auckland and Wellington have recently popped up with white lettering on a black background: “When things look black, we’re at our best.”

Below that in red letters is: “Go the boys.”

The billboard has been mocked on right-wing blogsite Kiwiblog as desperate, and Labour’s campaign spokesman Grant Robertson was not shy about the link to the national rugby team.

“There’s multiple layers of meaning. We want to show some support for the All Blacks.”

The message was not meant to convey that Labour was close to toast this election, he said. “We’re facing a significant challenge. We recognise that. We think we can win.

“People shouldn’t be reading deeply into the tea leaves … We’re showing support for the All Blacks while having a light-hearted poke at ourselves at the same time. …

The billboards were put up within hours of being conceived, but Mr Robertson did not have the exact cost of the billboards.

Labour are trying to have you believe that this was almost done on a whim. First of all I seriously doubt any billboards were up within hours of being conceived. I’ve stuck billboards up and you need to generally get artwork in days in advance so skins can be produced, and then dried off. And then after that specialists have to put the billboards up.

As for the costs, the minimum tends to be $2,000 a month. Some sites can get close to $5,000 a month. And ballpark production costs are $1,000 per board to produce the skin and stick it up. So those 40 billboards would have costed Labour around $120,000. So they have spent $120,000 not on promoting their key messages or policies, but in trying to associate themselves with the All Blacks.

Prime Minister John Key’s DJ shows are likely to come under close scrutiny after Labour complaints to the Electoral Commission about a radio segment he hosted last week.

Mr Key hosted an hour-long programme on RadioLive on Friday. It included interviews with a number of celebrities including Sir Peter Jackson and Richie McCaw.

During the show, Mr Key told listeners the hour was an “election-free zone”, and spent the time discussing issues ranging from his cat to Coronation St.

At the time, a spokeswoman for the PM said the station had stipulated the hour had to be free of politics, after advice from the Electoral Commission that political content could breach election rules.

However, the Labour Party is arguing that his stint still broke the rules and yesterday lodged complaints with the Electoral Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

The PM went out of his way to refuse to talk politics on the show, specifically to avoid it being an election programme.

I actually think Radio Live should have given Phil Goff a one hour show also. Never mind that no one would call in!

UPDATE: The media story referred to billboards. Trevor Mallard has pointed out they are hoardings not billboards. In that case, my cost and time estimates are not correct. Billboards are 18 (and up to 60) square metres in size and are printed on special skins. They need to be put up by specialist crews. A hoarding or yard sign of up to three square metres and is on corflute and get erected on temporary structures or attached to fences.

The terms “billboard” and “hoarding” should not be interchangeable!

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How desperate

October 2nd, 2011 at 10:02 am by David Farrar

How desperate is this, to try and associate themselves with the All Blacks?

I wonder if they’ll do them for the league also, to repeat the damage from the attacks on Sir Peter Leitch?

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August 18th, 2011 at 9:51 am by David Farrar

Sent in by a reader.

UPDATE: And Telecom have pulled the campaign. A good call.

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Abstain for the game

August 17th, 2011 at 4:59 pm by David Farrar

This is the first of the videos for the Abstain for the game campaign by Telecom’s Backing Black campaign. What do people think?

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Air New Zealand does it again

August 27th, 2010 at 10:13 am by David Farrar

For those who have not seen it.

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Well done the All Blacks – just

August 24th, 2009 at 4:58 pm by David Farrar


From Kevin Rudd’s Flickr account. John Key would have been a relieved man at the whistle.

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An Aussie praises the All Black uniform

April 20th, 2008 at 5:35 pm by David Farrar

This small 15 second audio file is of the unimaginable – an Australian radio host saying how they love the All Black uniform.

The comments are from Australian Dancing With The Stars co-host, Sonia Kruger who does Mix Mornings with Sonia & Todd on Mix 160.5 in Sydney.

Sonia is on the right. I commented to her producer that she was wasted on radio and he assured me she was also one of the most popular television personalities. I thank Mix1065 for bringing Sonia’s comments to the attention of Kiwiblog readers, and am sure the All Blacks appreciate her support for their dress sense anyway!

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