All Blacks Rugby
In New Zealand rugby union is the national sport. From birth every little boy dreams of playing for the New Zealand national rugby team. This team is known as the All Blacks.
The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team recently won the 2011 Rugby World Cup for the second time, virtuously breaking a notoriously bad habit they had of being one of the best teams in the world, but epically failing on the sport's biggest stage. Now that their World Cup jinx has been put to bed they can certainly lay claim to not just being the world's most successful rugby team, but in fact of the most successful sporting teams in history, of any sporting code. The All Blacks have staggering 75% winning record as well as a winning record against every team they have ever played, they only rugby team to have achieved this. In their history they have only been beaten by five international teams.
To learn more about rugby union check out the rugby union hub.
New Zealand won both the first and most recent Rugby World Cups, both of which New Zealand were the tournament host, although the 1987 was co-hosted by Australia. While home advantage could be pointed at as a reason for both triumphs, the pressure of winning in the rugby fish bowl of New Zealand also creates intense pressures of its own.
Some of the All Blacks rugby records include being the leading points scorers of all time and record stints as the number one IRB ranked team in the world. They have five IRB Team of the Year awards, winning five of the last seven. Their star first five holds the record for most test points, with over 1,200. Their captain is Richie McCaw and he has won the IRB player of the world three times. No other player has even won it twice.
The All Blacks get their name from their iconic black playing kit. Its current edition includes a white collar and white stripes at the top of their socks. Their is a white silver fern on one chest, which the symbol often used to represent New Zealand's sports' teams. Sponsor Adidas has their emblem on the other chest. Their away strip is currently a white playing jersey.
Hakas are traditional Maori (native New Zealanders) war dances. The most famous of these is Ka Mate. The All Blacks are well known for performing the war dance before matches, straight after the anthems and before the kick off. They stand on one side of the half way line and the other team watches them from the other side. In recent years the haka has become increasingly dramatic and intimidating. The All Blacks have recently added a new haka to their repertoire called Kapo o Pango, which they wrote themselves.
All Blacks Haka: Ka Mate
Slap the hands against the thighs
Puff out the chest
Bend the knees
Let the hip follow
Stomp the feet as hard as you can
I die, I die
I live, I live
I die, I die
I live, 'I live
This is the fierce, powerful man
Who caused the sun to shine again for me
Up the ladder, Up the ladder
Up to the top
The sun shines!
Ka Mate Words and Translation
Uma tiraha!Turi whatia
Hope whai ake
Waewae takahia kia kino!
Ka mate, ka mate
Ka ora' Ka ora
Ka mate, ka mate
Ka ora Ka ora
Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru
Nāna i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā
A Upane! Ka Upane
Whiti te rā
The All Blacks against other Countries
The New Zealand All Blacks, Australia Wallabies and South Africa Springboks compete in the Tri Nations every year. From 2012 this tournament will be called the Rugby Championshiop and include the Argentina Pumas. When Australia and New Zealand play each other they put the Bledisloe Cup on the line - a trophy they have contested since 1932.
The All Blacks' toughest foe has historically been the All Blacks, against whom they have their worst record, only a 55% win rate. These days they compete for the Freedom Cup.
Four Grand Slams have been won by the All Blacks, which along with the Springboks is a record for a Southern Hemisphere team. A Grand Slam is where a touring team beats Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland in one tour.
The All Blacks at Amazon
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