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Could New Zealand Prove To Be Unlikely Rugby World Cup Champions?

While they may have been the favorites going into the Rugby World Cup, few Kiwis could have imagined that their side would be prepping ahead of a crunch semi-final this weekend after a shocking opening loss to France, yet here we are. In fact, so dominant were France that New Zealand quickly slid from 3/1 favorites to 6/1 outsiders. That loss set up a tough quarter-final against Ireland or SA, and it was the former who lined up last week against the All Blacks in a game that will go down in Kiwi history. Following that huge win, you can now bet online with Novibet NZ and get 5/4 on us, lifting our record 4th consecutive World Cup. Let’s look at how we got here and what the path to victory looks like.

The Journey So Far

Thus far, New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup campaign has been a mixed bag, to say the least. Wekicked off the tournament with a heartbreaking 27-13 loss to hosts France before bouncing back with wins over Namibia and Italy. The loss to France was a big blow to our hopes. Outplayed, outfought, and forever looking for a rhythm in their attack.

New Zealand vs Namibia

We bounced back from that opening defeat with a dominant 71-3 win over Namibia, scoring 11 tries in total, and honestly, we were never in danger of losing. The All Blacks were dominant in the first half and romped to six tries with ease.

New Zealand vs Italy

New Zealand continued their winning run with a 96-17 victory over Italy. Our massive tally of 14 tries was our biggest-ever win at a Rugby World Cup. The All Blacks were in control of the match from the start and ran out comfortable winners. In the first half alone, we notched up ten tries.

New Zealand v Ireland

What can we say about the boys’ performance against Ireland in one of the games of the tournament so far? Few gave the All Blacks a chance against the world’s number 1 team, yet they battled together to overcome the challenge. Mark Telea was famously left out pre-game, putting the fear amongst us all. Thankfully, replacement Leicester Fainga’anuku stepped up and proved he is worth that starting place. That performance could be enough to propel us to the coveted 4th WC.

Worries Going Into The Argentina Game 

Here are some valid concerns heading into a relatively straightforward semi-final against Argentina.

  • Injuries: Having been hit by several injuries in that first match, including to captain Sam Cane and fly-half Richie Mo’unga, we were forced to chop and change throughout the tournament. Also, match fitness could be a concern after that brutal Ireland game.
  • Defense: The All Blacks’ defense was particularly poor against France. They missed several tackles, and they allowed France to score too easily. They stood up well against Ireland, but can it continue?

On The Horizon

Unless England pull off a miracle, it will be South Africa in the final if New Zealand come through this, with both looking for a 4th World Cup win. There is a chance that we can beat them, but it will require everyone to be at the very top of their game; here’s to hoping!

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