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You might have heard the news by now. Some of you will have been up early on Sunday morning to watch it live on television. Or, like me, you might have woken up a little bit late and, on discovering the score, might have thought you were asleep and still dreaming.

But, in case you haven’t heard, Ireland beat the All Blacks by 40 points to 29. And that’s a good thing.

Here’s why.

The All Blacks have been so dominant in world rugby for so long that results in matches involving New Zealand have become predictable. Since starting the incredible unbeaten streak of eighteen unbeaten games in a row – and, in fact, for a long time before that – it was assumed that the All Blacks would win. A foregone conclusion; simply turn up and play and the victory would go to the team in black.

Not any longer. Ireland have beaten the All Blacks for the first time ever. It might hurt a little bit to lose – after all, everyone in New Zealand wants us to win as many games as possible – but failing will ultimately make us stronger.

Like with everything, losing – or failing – isn’t a bad thing. Yes, it hurts in the short term. Yes, no one likes the team you’re supporting to come off second best. But it’ll make the All Blacks stronger. They will learn from their mistakes, they will learn never to underestimate the opposition, and other teams will now think that they can beat the mighty All Blacks. And if that happens, which it will, it makes for far more exciting, less predictable rugby for us to watch.

Well done, Ireland!

But, in just two weeks’ time the All Blacks take on Ireland again – this time in Dublin. And this time, I hope, the New Zealanders will pick themselves back up again and prove that they really are the best team in the world.


By Ben Egerton.

This is an opinion article, designed to promote critical discussion amongst your students:

Critical Thinking Challenges:

1. Do you think that it’s a good thing that the All Blacks lost?

2. How can you learn from failure?

3. Were you interested or not in Sunday’s game?

4. Why is it so important to New Zealanders that the All Blacks do well?

5. This match against Ireland was played in Chicago in the USA. Why do you think that this game was played there?

6. Is rugby New Zealand’s most important cultural export?


Practical Tasks:

1. The All Blacks went eighteen games unbeaten. Find out the scores and who the opposition were. Have fun with the statistical information you discover: chart this data in an infographic or graphs.

2. Who would you pick for the All Blacks team for their next match?


Have Your Say:

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6 Responses

  1. It is good that the All Blacks won because, we do learn from our mistakes and you will know that if you play rugby.

  2. i think that it is good that nz lost because we should all lose at some stage
    but i also think that nz should have won just cuz

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