So the New Zealand Rugby team, or “All Blacks” as they’re known, played the Australian rugby team. Who are known as the “Wallabies“. From the outset it seems unfair because one of those is an animal capable of doing stuff, while the other is a completeness (or lack) of colour. Hard to see how the Wallabies could lose huh?
Well it turns out they can, because like the angry red tide, the black tide was here to spoil a bunch of men’s days: the Australian’s.
This is my review of the All Blacks and how the individual players went:
Confusing name that. Israel, the holy land of the chosen people, seems to speak to a spirituality, and in the Australian team there’s another bloke called Israel. Seems unlikely. Unless you buy into that whole Jewish conspiracy thing. I don’t think the Jews are running rugby. I just think it’s weird. Also his surname is “Dagg”, like Fred. A dag is also described as “a lump of matted wool and faeces hanging from the rear end of a sheep” [source]. I dunno if this is some sort of political statement. Anyway, Dagg seemed fun. Receding hairline though. Passed some balls, caught some other ones. Good times: 7.5/10
Charlie is a strange name for an All Black. I think of All Blacks and I think of names like “Bruce” or “Max” or “Rocky”. But Charlie, that’s more Roald Dahl and a Chocolate Factory. Anyway, this little fella was just filled with energy. He seemed to have little legs but that didn’t stop him tacking fellas with much bigger legs. So I guess leg size isn’t a determining factor in tackling. That’s good because I’m a stumpy guy. So maybe my dreams of being an All Black aren’t over yet: 6.5/10
Who? I mean seriously. He has the most generic name you could imagine. And he was pretty much invisible the entire game. He’s been the best winger in the tournament, so in true New Zealand style we take him out of position and put him somewhere else (see Cullen, C; 1999, McDonald, L; 2003, Muliaina, M; 2007). He did one exciting thing I think. But I was too busy drinking tea. So I missed it. Other than that, he could’ve learned from his little friend above on how to tackle: 4/10
Remember when Ma’a wore eye-liner? Those were good days. Ma’a did what Ma’a does. He got the ball and he ran into many men. Sometimes those men would hold him down, other times they wouldn’t. Then to mix it up he’d kick the ball. He’s so multi-faceted. Didn’t make a huge difference though did he? Still, those dreadlocks are a fierce sight. I once went out with a girl with dreadlocks. She wasn’t as good as Ma’a at rugby, but she was very nice and at the time had some hippy ideals that I fully endorsed. Now I’m older and my perception has changed. Good game, would Ma’a again: 7/10
I always swore I’d stop watching the rugby when someone named Julian made the team. Over the years we’ve had a series of unlikely All Black names: Rodney, Xavier and Conrad. But Julian is a turning point for me. What that says is that no matter how much you get ridiculed for your name and haircut as a portmanteau (sorry Bowlian) you can still make it as a professional sportsplayer. And I think that’s great. It helps if your surname is a phonetic match for SEVERE. And you are fast, and powerful and damaging. 7.5/10
Seriously. This guy is way too small to be playing international rugby. All the other players look like they’d eat pieces of Cruden for breakfast. And also his forehead protrudes a little further out than perhaps is necessary. But who am I to judge? What I will judge him on is that kick he did that went about 4m, then spun backwards, hit all of our own team straight in the eye and ruined Christmas for the children in the stands. What were you thinking Aaron? Also, your running game is a bit crap. You were so good for the Chiefs. Is that it? Is it because you’re not a Chief now, you’re just an Indian? Questions. So many questions. 5.5/10
Another with a generic name and a generic game. He does throw the ball quickly. Which causes Justin Marshall to fall over himself with praise. But that’s because Justin was shit at throwing the ball. And stuck around for years being shit. God imagine poor Andrew Mehrtens watching this and thinking “I could have done so much damage if bloody Justin Marshall had thrown the ball quickly. Also, shut up Justin you talk too much.” 6/10
I don’t care what anyone says, this guy is clearly Christopher Eccleston post-Dr Who looking for a new career move. He’s good at it too. With his running and his travelling through time with his fancy pen-screw-driver thing.
He did some catching and passing. And I understand he’s captain now. Which seems fair, I don’t know how many other All Blacks are space/time travelling doctors. Possibly only Richie. But he was injured so it makes sense for Kieran Eccleston to do it.
Apparently he’s indispensable. But people said that about DC and he went to the backbenches then ended up Labour Leader. So you never know do you? 7.5/10
21. He’s 21. Just stop and dwell on that number for second. What were you doing when you were 21? I know what I was doing. I was a secretary for a Government Department in my first job after graduating with a BA in Philosophy. And I was terrible at it. This guy is playing in a position that people say is tough, and he’s doing it well and all the time he looks like a doll. A child-like doll. And he also has a good name. I’m a big fan of names that are both one syllable. No fucking around when you’re talking to Sam Cane. Also: played quite well. 9/10
Runs deceptively quick for a big fella doesn’t he? I still don’t like him. And I don’t know why. Something about him makes me want to punch something (probably not a person). I’m a big Luatua fan. Aside from the fact his surname rhymes and he has mongrel hair, I just think he’s better. That said, Liam runs well with the ball in hand and people seem to rate him highly, so I’ll give into peer pressure and give him a 7/10
There was an Australian rugby player called Stirling Mortlock which is the best name in world sport (maybe second to Hitro Okesene). Sam Whitelock is kind of a half-assed version of that as a name. Good player though. Partially unshaven which is hip these days, so gets points for that. Not sure what he does. He’s a lock? What does that even mean. What does he “lock”? Is tall. 6.5/10
There’s an unfortunate surname. Do you think he was “Jeremy Vaginal Disease” at high school? He probably was. Kids are so mean. He’s got a huge jawline. I feel like All Blacks should have big jawlines (important capital A there). There was a time in the game where he jumped, and a Wallaby jumped. And you’d think the Wallaby would jump higher because they have those springy legs. But they went about the same height. Then they crashed down together. And then something happened and we got the ball. Dunno if he did anything else. 6/10
Somewhere there is a Faumuina family who saw the success the Adams family had (Valerie & Steven, not Morticia & Gomez) and thought “we’ve done Beatrice, let’s get ourselves another one”. And they did. He’s got the full beard, it’s all manly and intimidating. My genitals shrunk just watching him. And he tackled players harrrrrrrd. It looked like it hurt. At the very least his facial hair would have tickled. 7.5/10
I resent Keven Mealamu because that’s not how you spell Kevin. Keven, we need to talk about “Keven”. Commentators describe Mealamu as a “nuggety” player. I’m not sure what that means. But I choose to interpret it as he’s golden. Because to interpret it any other way may be racist. So “Golden Mealamu” had a good game. He threw some balls. They went to tall people and he did some pushing. I think that’s his job. Seems like an easy job on reflection doesn’t it? 7/10
Another unfortunate name. We really need to sort out players who have names that are less easy to make fun of. Though Tony doesn’t look like someone you’d make fun of. He’s kind of barrel shaped and seems quiet. Those kids are the ones to look out for. They’re all quiet and then they go beserk. Tony didn’t quite go beserk, and I didn’t really notice him much. I think I would’ve noticed if the commentators had said something like “And wood cock pushes up the middle”. That would’ve caused me to giggle. So this score is really a best guest. 6.5/10.
Yeah, so that’s me. I dunno how often I’ll review rugby. It seems complicated.