NZ View: How the Kiwi media is reacting to Saturday’s shock loss to the Wallabies

One win over the All Blacks doesn’t change the fact that it’s been a pretty tough year for Australian rugby. But right now, who really cares!

As we wake on Monday morning, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the world just seems to be a slightly better place.


And it gets even better when you take a look at how our ever humble friends from across the ditch are reacting to Saturday’s “shock” loss to the lowly Wallabies.

The always objective NZ Herald began their analysis with a look at a few key stats, kindly pointing out in one of the lead articles that it had been 805 days since Australia last beat New Zealand and that Will Genia’s winning percentage over the Kiwis had now jumped to 13.64%.

Yep, really.

Sports writer Chris Rattue took a slightly different angle and questioned whether the spotlight now needed to turn on All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who apparently “has lost his magic touch.”

“To my mind, coach Hansen’s dry demeanour is not quite hitting the bullseye publicly anymore because it fails to properly reflect what is happening on the field or the depth of feeling among All Black fans when things go astray,” Rattue wrote.

“And you wonder if it is also starting to miss the mark in the dressing room and practice grounds.”

“A year dotted with brilliance has also been a bit of a shambles.”

But just when you thought New Zealand rugby was about to go into crisis mode, Rattue pivoted:

“Ironically, the match actually highlighted how the influence of other nations is driving the Wallabies now. About half of their match day 23 are of Polynesian/Melanesian heritage, and a surprising number of the overall squad are born in New Zealand.”

Hmmmm.

Paul Gregor chose to focus on the fact that New Zealand were missing arguably their two most important players in Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick. 

“Now is not the time to judge the All Blacks. Defeat to Australia highlighted not any chronic failing in their mental make-up, but simply that a handful of promising, emerging players need more exposure to test football,” he wrote.

While Gregor believes the likes of Lima Sopoaga and Scott Barrett will thrive in the black jersey with more exposure and experience, he added:

“It’s possible, maybe even probable that had Beauden Barrett and Retallick both started in Brisbane the result may have been different.”

Over on Stuff, Marc Hinton even did his best to convince readers that the All Blacks lost the match for the good of World Rugby:

“Every All Black defeat hurts if you’re a Kiwi. But this one probably less so,” he wrote.

“In fact, it’s no stretch to say that Saturday night’s memorable, skilful and committed 23-18 victory by the Wallabies over the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium has given the ailing Bledisloe Cup the kiss of life.”

“No. Let’s go further. It has given the struggling Australian game the kiss of life. And if we who reside on the New Zealand side of the Tasman are brutally honest, we might even accept that this was a result that in the bigger scheme of things means a heck of a lot more than if it had fallen on the flip side of the equation.”

It’s been 805 days, breathe it in Australian rugby fans.