'End of the World': All Blacks loss stuns New Zealand - Sports | NTV

'End of the World': All Blacks loss stuns New Zealand

Saturday October 26, 2019
'End of the World': All Blacks loss stuns New Zealand

 

BY: AFP

The All Blacks' World Cup semi-final defeat stunned New Zealand on Saturday as dreams of a third consecutive crown were crushed by a superior England side.

"End of the World! All Blacks stunned by incredible English," said the New Zealand Herald.

England's 19-7 victory in Yokohama ended an incredible 18-match unbeaten run in World Cup games for the All Blacks, who had reigned supreme since defeating Tonga at the start of the 2011 tournament. 

New Zealand betting agencies had installed the All Blacks as overwhelming favourites to beat England and win the World Cup final in Japan.

Research company Gemba Insights had suggested the nation's mental health could be negatively affected by an All Blacks loss after recording "a noticeable rising anxiety" as the team advanced into the knockout stages.

Against a spirited and superior England, New Zealand never looked threatening and former All Blacks fly-half Stephen Donald saw the writing on the wall five minutes into the second half when England led 10-0.

"If they (the All Blacks) can get out of this it will be a hell of an effort," Donald, who kicked the match-winning penalty in the 2011 final and is now a television pundit, said during the live broadcast of the match. 

The Herald, looking for a reason why things went wrong, said the decision to start Scott Barrett at blindside flanker was "a gamble that didn't work". Barrett was replaced at half-time.

But most New Zealand media accepted that England were just too good.

Herald columnist Gregor Paul credited England with reducing "the world's best attacking side to a somewhat dishevelled looking, uncertain mis-mash of frantic bad ideas". 

Stuff.co.nz website rugby correspondent Marc Hinton said: "New Zealanders have to admit it. The Poms were magnificent."

Radio New Zealand said the All Blacks' hopes of a third consecutive title have been "smashed by a superior English squad".

Television New Zealand blamed the "relentless pressure and an unrelenting pace" from England, while Television Three's Newshub website said the All Blacks were "rocked by an opening assault" and never recovered.