NZ Rugby World June - July 2020

New Zealand Rugby World is the premier authority on our national game; with sharp analysis and irreverent humour the two key components. In both style and content the writing is award winning and provides an unparalleled depth of insight into the people who play the game and the issues that matter to the fans. The cast of contributors is world class as is the photography and lay-out. Pick this magazine up and you won't want to put it down - rugby has never been so much fun.

New Zealand
Dark Horse Collective Ltd
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min
editor’s letter

IT IS NOT SUCH AN EASY EXERCISE to determine who has wielded real influence in the last decade. Some judgements are obvious – and indeed are easy to make. For instance, who is honestly going to be surprised to see that we have decided Richie McCaw was the most influential person in New Zealand rugby between 2010 and 2019? No one? And that’s with McCaw retiring in 2015 – halfway though the period. How could you look past all that he did? His influence was incredible and lived on long after he retired. He captained the All Blacks to consecutive World Cups in 2011 and 2015. That’s influence. Others such as Beauden Barrett, Daniel Carter, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Ma’a Nonu were also relatively easy to include. All of them, in one way…

1 min
the greatest game ever played

This was the moment Beauden Barrett earned his reputation as an impact player of extraordinary value. He came off the bench early in the second half of the final Rugby Championship test at Ellis Park and 15 minutes later, got his hands on the ball, beat four defenders and touched down under the posts to give the All Blacks the bonus point try they needed to secure the title. With five minutes to go he also chased down Willie le Roux and bundled him out in the corner to complete one of the great defensive scrambles in what was one of the great games of the decade. The All Blacks won 38-27.…

1 min
the mother of all victories

The amazing thing about this game was that the Boks started well and for the first 15 minutes looked like they were going to be a handful. But a penalty inside the Springboks half after 15 minutes led to Aaron Smith tapping it and then kicking ahead for Rieko Ioane to beat the defence to score. Four minutes later an intercept led to a try for Nehe Milner-Skudder and suddenly the All Blacks were rampant. They had four before half-time and went to the break 24-0 ahead after 40 minutes of rugby where South Africa had, strangely, felt like they were right in it. The scores just kept coming in the second half as the All Blacks tightened their work in the forwards and were clinical in the most ruthless way to leave…

1 min
moment of relief

We can only imagine how different the last decade would have been had the All Blacks not won the 2011 World Cup. And that was a real possibility as they struggled to contain a French team that came to life. It was a long, nerve-wracking struggle that saw the teams separated only by a point for the last 15 minutes and the All Blacks needed an heroic performance from skipper Richie McCaw to win. It was a game that changed the mood of a nation – that allowed the pressure to release and a new optimism to sweep the country.…

13 min
one moment in time

At the time, the decision was branded a disaster. A mad, bad idea. More than half the country wanted the incumbent All Blacks coaching panel of Graham Henry, Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen to be fired. That trio had delivered the worst World Cup campaign in All Blacks history at the greatest expense. So come December 2007 when New Zealand Rugby had to decide whether to reappoint Henry and his team or give the job to the high-flying Robbie Deans who had enjoyed incredible, sustained success at the Crusaders, the majority felt there was only one choice. Most of the country wanted Henry and his team out because failure could not be rewarded with another term in office. The All Blacks had bombed out in the quarter-final to France. But worse than that, they…

14 min
50 most influential people of the decade 2010-2019

50 Brad Thorn Few All Blacks have inspired more imitators than Brad Thorn. Let’s start with the voice and some of the rasping, homespun wisdom that came with it. If you met Brad Thorn, then you probably had a crack at talking like him too. Same with Steve Hansen. It wasn’t at their expense; far from it. More a sincere form of flattery, indicating how iconic each man was. With Thorn, particularly, it wasn’t just his patter. Team-mates emulated him because he was pretty much the most professional player they’d ever come across. He might have come up in a hard school, at the Brisbane Broncos, but Thorn survived at the top of rugby league and rugby union by treating his body as a temple. Prehab and rehab were still rather alien concepts when Thorn returned for…