World media reacts to ABs win: 'Never smile at the haka'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Oct 2021, 2:51PM
The USA Eagles were full of smiles during the All Blacks haka. (Photo / Twitter)
The USA Eagles were full of smiles during the All Blacks haka. (Photo / Twitter)

World media reacts to ABs win: 'Never smile at the haka'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Oct 2021, 2:51PM

The All Blacks thrashed the USA Eagles 104-14 in Washington today. Here's how the world media reacted.

Rugby's flag is flying in the states

By Martin Pengally of the Guardian

At FedEx Field, just outside Washington, American rugby set out its stall to host the Rugby World Cup. The crowd cheered, the Star-Spangled Banner flew . . . and New Zealand scored many tries.

That was predictable and USA Rugby, and perhaps World Rugby, are thinking bigger-picture. Through the rosiest spectacles possible this was a fleeting taste of things to come. It was also, if more like a training video than any sort of contest, a showcase of pure All Black attack.

It was not surprising that a team entirely selected from Major League Rugby could not contain one with 374 caps and five World Cup winners' medals on the bench, in Dane Coles, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Anton Lienert-Brown and Beauden Barrett, a two-time world player of the year. Three Eagles had not played a Test. So it goes.

As it happens, the writer who made that fatalistic phrase his own, Kurt Vonnegut, once reported on rugby at Cornell University. He called it "a damned good game, faster than football and harder than soccer". Making the best of things, the All Blacks did their best to prove him right.

Social media reaction:

English broadcaster Piers Morgan led the reaction on Twitter though may have misinterpreted a moment before the test. American players were caught on camera smiling as they faced the haka, although it may have been a giddy reaction to standing in front of the All Blacks for the first time.

Mismatch of epic proportions

By Liam Napier

Ugly is the only way to describe the record thrashing the All Blacks handed the United States on Sunday morning at FedEx Field in Maryland.

A mismatch of epic proportions was predicted, and that's exactly what transpired as the All Blacks ran in 16 tries to record their largest win over the USA, easily eclipsing the 74-6 margin the last time these teams met in Chicago in 2014.

TJ Perenara's final try cracked the century with the last play to give the All Blacks their third highest tally of all time behind only the 108 they scored against Portugal at the 2007 World Cup, and the 145-17 rout of Japan in 1995.

Gregor Paul: And the real winner is....

If there was a winner at FedEx Field Stadium on Sunday morning, it wasn't obvious who it might have been.

On the most superficial level it was the All Blacks, they scored 104 points after all and won the test by a record margin. But was it really a victory in advancing the rugby education of the many fringe players they picked?

Was this one-sided romp a valuable tool in the growth of the likes of Ethan de Groot, Tupou Vaa'i, Quinn Tupaea and Will Jordan?

It's debatable certainly, because the Eagles, hardly a heavyweight at the best of times, were operating without their small contingent of European-based professionals: a group that would have given them the ability to offer some kind of resistance.