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All Blacks

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. 


Being from NZ and living in New York - I'm going to see this historic game at Soldier Field, obviously, I'm expecting my lads to win. However, I strongly believe that playing teams like the ABs, the US national team can only improve and benefit from this experience. On the physicality front - I think that the Eagles will rise to the challenge, these boys are not fragile and I am banking on them making some big hits on the All Blacks and being fully prepared to being hit back, hard. I hope that the All Blacks use this opportunity as a platform to promote the beautiful game (sorry soccer/football fans) further in this hugely sports-centric country and allow non-Rugby followers the chance to see why they are the best, not because of the points scored, but that it's a game focused on values such as hard-work, diligence, support and 'I'll get smashed down, but I'll get back up and get on with it'. Kia Kaha Eagles - as Bill once wrote 'sweet are the advantages of adversity'. Stick to the basics and do them well, that is what the ABs do.