Criticism of the All Blacks historic loss to Ireland may have been delayed but Newstalk ZB radio host Mark Watson has launched a scathing broadside at the world champions in the wake of Sunday’s historic defeat in Chicago.
While many Kiwi rugby fans have been magnanimous and gracious in praising Ireland’s impressive performance in the 40-29 win at Soldier Field, Watson was furious with the All Blacks below-par display.
Following on from the All Blacks Sevens quarter-final capitulation at the Rio Olympics in August, Watson likened this season to the dark days of 1998 – when the All Blacks lost a record five tests in a row – and the 2007 World Cup failure.
“Great day for Ireland, not a great day for world rugby,” Watson said of the All Blacks first defeat in 19 starts.
“And as New Zealanders we shouldn’t have to accept that.
“This in my opinion is as bad a season as 1998 when we lost five tests in a row and 2007 when we went out in the quarter-finals.”
While pleased Ireland managed to break their 111-year hoodoo to claim their first win over the All Blacks in 29 games, Watson was critical of both New Zealand captain Kieran Read and coach Steve Hansen for their part in the shock defeat.
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Despite the fact the All Blacks had registered a record 18 test wins in a row before Sunday, that was lost on Watson, who said the five-tries-to-four result was unacceptable to New Zealand rugby diehards.
“Forget your 18 consecutive test victories. Half of those were done in 2015. (It’s a) Meaningless record,” said Watson.
“Kieran Read, two World Cups (and) first All Blacks captain to lose to the Irish.
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“Black mark (against) Steve Hansen, first All Black coach to lose to the Irish.”
Looking ahead to next year’s highly anticipated Lions tour of New Zealand, Watson said the Ireland defeat would ensure the All Blacks were at their ruthless best on home soil.
“This is the wake up that New Zealand rugby needed, this is the little reminder New Zealand rugby needed.
“The British and Irish Lions will get hammered here next year because of what happened in Chicago.”
Courtesy of NZ Herald Rugby