New Zealand: 100 years coming to an end

Whoever doubts that New Zealand has been the dominant power in the world of rugby for the last 100 years, either he believes rugby is played with 13 men or is a Springbok.

In fact, only the strongest South Africa has been able to stop the All Black machine of rugby, being the Springboks/All Blacks tours the most intense that this game has witnessed.

Please, do forget the Northern Hemisphere.

But it happens everywhere. Ford was the everything in the world of automakers until the decade of the thirties, where so many changes in the industry saw a new giant best prepared to become the world leader (no other than GM, who, 70 years later, was also banquished when it was not strong enough to compete). Take Microsoft, the world leader was innovative but at the end died of success when a new kid on the block, Google, was healthier and ready to face the changes the industry needed.

Now come back to New Zealand. New Zealand have got the strongest rugby culture in the world. Their love for rugby is immense, and their have been the world power while rugby has been an amatheur issue, and also during the first and a half decade of professionalism, when the NZRU has been able to retain kiwi players at home.

The idea was that rugby in New Zealand was a home issue, and the best players of this secret world were shown abroad during tests and no one could match them.

Now players are not playing at home anymore: McAlister, Howlett, Jack, Hayman, Mauger, Rush, Marshall, Gear, Kelleher... are already gone. Evans, Flavell, Nacewa will. Collins, Carter, Tu'uiali most likely.

And NZRU cannot keep them at home any longer. Rugby has changed. Definately and forever. Provincial championships will no longer sustain the game. Privatised franchises will have to arise and the game become a business like business is football or basketball. Who shall rule then? When the Internet appeared, no one was greater than Microsoft and, even so, they fell to Google. Why? Because they were not flexible enough to adapt. With size often comes resilience to change. And the surname of adaptation is change.

Will New Zealand be adaptable enough to face the changes after 100 years of being the best?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that NZ will give up the ghost screaming and clawing and fighting to the death, unlike England, who still try to maintain that their brand of rugby is as good.
Like you said, rugby is a cultural, tribal issue in NZ and despite the players leaving, new players are alrady waiting in line.
Do I think that they will be as good as the old guys?
Maybe not but they will be good enough to beat South Africa and England, for sure.