Global media react to All Blacks' shock loss saying to Springboks - 'Invincible men in black are mere mortals'

The All Blacks' shock 36-34 defeat to South Africa in Wellington last night has stunned the world's rugby media, with New Zealand's Southern Hemisphere dominance not as secure as it once seemed.

Coming off the back of consecutive defeats to Argentina and Australia, South Africa responded in style to earn their first win on New Zealand soil in nine years, holding out for an improbable victory in the capital.

With the 2019 World Cup in Japan now less than a year away, the All Blacks' stranglehold on the William Webb Ellis trophy seems a little less certain, with UK critics quick to stick the boot into Steve Hansen's men.

Willie le Roux says last night's win is much needed for South Africa. Source: 1 NEWS

Writing for the Telegraph, Ben Coles wrote that the result benefited not just South Africa, but the global game as a whole.

"This was the result world rugby needed," Coles said.

"After the British and Lions won the second Test in Wellington last year, South Africa raided the same venue today for their first victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand for nine years."

South Africa's Willie le Roux celebrates the final whistle as Springboks celebrate their 36-34 win over the All Blacks
South Africa's Willie le Roux celebrates the final whistle as Springboks celebrate their 36-34 win over the All Blacks Source: Photosport

South Africa's Nigel Botherway concurred with his UK equivalent's appraisal, saying:

"South Africa did world rugby a massive favour here in Wellington, proving that New Zealand can be beaten: that the previously invincible men in black are mere mortals after all."

South African writer Mahlaste Mphahlele though, pointed the finger at the boot of All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett, who missed four of his six attempts at goal.

New Zealand were stunned 36-34 by South Africa in Wellington last night. Source: 1 NEWS

"Though the Boks were impressive for this bonus-point victory against their bitter rivals in all facets of the game' they partly have All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett to thank as he missed four easy conversions that could have proved the difference," Mphahlele said in the Sunday Times South Africa.

Australian media also weighed in on the All Blacks' downfall, with Fox Sports' Christy Doran saying:

"Rated $8 outsiders heading into the Rugby Championship clash, the upset was arguably the biggest in Test rugby since Eddie Jones' Japan beat the Springboks in their opening match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup."

Barrett converted only two conversions from six in tonight's 36-34 loss to the Springboks. Source: 1 NEWS

Rugby World magazine's Paul Williams though, predicts the All Blacks to return fire immediately, simply tweeting that:

"You don't want to be the team playing the All Blacks next..."


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England can overtake All Blacks 'within a year' says John Mitchell

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell believes that England can overtake New Zealand in less than 12 months, having recently joined Eddie Jones' coaching set-up.

Having been in charge of the All Blacks in an ill-fated stint from 2001-03, 54-year old Mitchell now finds himself as England's defence coach, and will take on old team in November.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mitchell says that beating the All Blacks is a key motivator for his new side, but says that it can happen in less than 12 months.

"I really believe that England can get better and be the best within a year's time. I really do believe that. Why? Because of what I've seen in the past."

"They [the All Blacks] are outstanding, but I guess what gives us all life is that it is a World Cup year and a World Cup does close the gap.

"It's knockout rugby and you just need to focus on being the better team yourself.

"New Zealand have set the benchmark and sent out the signal to all of us – 'you come and get us'."

Conrad Smith against England Source: Photosport


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'Never give up until your time is finished' - Israel Dagg still dreaming of All Blacks recall

Former All Black Israel Dagg says he refuses to believe his time in the black jersey is over, after falling down the pecking order in Steve Hansen's side.

Dagg, 30, is currently in the middle of a stint with the Canon Eagles in Japan, appearing to be behind the likes of Rieko Ioane, Ben Smith, Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo in the reckoning for a spot in the All Blacks' back three.

Speaking to Stuff though, Dagg says that he's confident of adding to his 66 Tests, having this year won a second straight Super Rugby title with the Crusaders.

"You never give up until your time is finished in New Zealand. I'll go back to Christchurch next year and give it one last whirl and if it works out, it works out," Dagg said.

"It's pretty competitive in the back three, especially in my position, so we'll see how it goes. I've just got to start playing well for the Crusaders and hopefully things take care of themselves."

With less than a year until the next World Cup in Japan, Dagg also says that he's using the memory of 2015 as motivation, having been overlooked for Steve Hansen's squad for the England tournament.

"It does light a bit of fire in the belly. I hold no grudges, [missing the 2015 Rugby World Cup] was a long time ago. Being a family man now, you kind of can deal with things a lot easier now. Whatever happens, happens. I'll go back to New Zealand and give it my best."

Dagg is yet to feature for the Canon Eagles due to a calf injury, but is available to make his debut on Sunday against the Coca-Cola Red Sparks.

Israel Dagg Source: Getty


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All Black Sonny Bill Williams goes through light gym session ahead Pumas Test

There were positive signs for All Blacks fans as Sonny Bill Williams completed a light gym session in Buenos Aires in Argentina overnight.

The 32-year-old midfielder completed a series of cable exercises and stretches during his team’s training session.

Williams was initially named on the All Blacks' bench to play the Springboks a fortnight ago in Wellington, before being pulled from the team due to illness (tonsillitis).

The All Blacks went down 36-34 against South Africa at Westpac Stadium, their first loss in the 2018 Rugby Championship.

Williams hasn't played international rugby since he injured his shoulder in the French Test series in June.

Williams was initially named on the bench in the Springboks Test in Wellington, but was ruled out after not fully recovering from tonsillitis. Source: ESPN


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French club Pau targeting Ben Smith, Ardie Savea signings - report

French club Pau are looking to add to the All Blacks' recent player exodus, reportedly targeting the signatures of star duo Ben Smith and Ardie Savea.

According to a report in French site Rugbyrama, former All Blacks and Pau coach Simon Mannix is looking at adding the duo to his ranks, hoping to mount a challenge in the Top 14.

In particular, 32-year old Smith could loom as a likely signing, with his New Zealand Rugby contract containing a termination clause that could see him move overseas after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Savea on the other hand, could seek a move away after next year's World Cup, seemingly behind Sam Cane in the pecking order for the number seven jersey, while brother Julian traded Wellington for French outfit Toulon earlier this year.

Pau's ranks are littered with former All Blacks, with the likes of Conrad Smith, Colin Slade, Tom Taylor, Benson Stanley, Jamie Mackintosh and Carl Hayman all having represented the club.

Ben Smith.
All Blacks v France. Rugby Union. Steinlager Series, 1st test match. Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 9 June 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
All Blacks star back Ben Smith. Source: Photosport


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