Who would you rather the All Blacks lost to?
Off the long run
It may happen next week, or in two years, but as sure as death and taxes one day the All Blacks are going to be beaten in a test match.
They've now won 16 games on the trot and many predict they're set to smash the world record by marching into the 20s.
However, the run will end. Which gives rise to the question, not so much who will be victorious but under what circumstance will we, the New Zealand public, accept such a defeat?
The likely conquerors are Australia, South Africa, France, England and perhaps Wales, playing at home.
Let's rule out two of the above.
No way will we want to accept a defeat to England or South Africa, both being such bully boys, and whose entertainment value hardly rises above the mundane.
Australia? Let's face it, the ABs have the wood on the Wallabies, who would have to play out of their skins and catch them on a bad day at the office. It seems unlikely on both counts.
Our bete noir, the French, are certainly capable, their unpredictability alone gives them a chance. The All Blacks and we, the public, have a great deal of respect for them and to our detriment we know what they can do in one-off contests.
So a loss to Les Bleus would be passably acceptable; at least they show skill and know how to get over the try line.
That leaves Wales, our 'soul' competitors since 1905. Their squad are as good as any northern hemisphere team and their style not far from the All Blacks'. Moreover, don't you just love their passion for the game?
A loss to Wales would be acceptable to me. After all, there is a legacy there, Sir Ted (Graham Henry), Steve Hansen and Warren Gatland.
View all contributions