You are here
A good friend who knows a little about rugby asked me if the Eagles could beat the All Blacks on November 1 at Soldiers Field in Chicago? He wondered if an unexpected result was possible.
Historically, major upsets have occurred infrequently in all US team sports. A small sample of the more famous reversals indicates: US Olympic hockey over Russia; NY Mets World Series win against Baltimore, Villanova's NCAA basketball final tournament defeat of Georgetown; and, Joe Namath's NY Jets in the Super Bowl against the Colts. You may also have favorites.
But the answer I gave my friend, a response that the American rugby community would also reply, is "unlikely." And this is based not only on performance capability but historical fact.
Quiz time: How many times have the All Blacks lost to Ireland, Scotland, Argentina, and Italy? Did you correctly answer none?
Quiz Time #2: Same inquiry against Canada, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Japan, Canada, and the USA? None again.
Losses in 29 tests against Wales? Three.
Losses in 39 tests against England? Seven.
Winning percent against France? 78%
Winning percent against Australia? 71%
Winning percent against South Africa? 59%
The all time won lost record for New Zealand since they began international play in 521 games is 397-105-19 ties for a 78% win rate, the highest in the world. South Africa ranks next with a 66% rate, and France third at 57%. (NB. The French number is significantly inflated with over a 100 wins coming against Italy, Argentina, and Romania).
So, we're prepared for a forthcoming New Zealand victory and hope that the Eagles can play at a higher level to remain competitive.