If you have even the most passing familiarity with rugby, you’ve likely heard of New Zealand’s All Blacks, a dynasty of a national team that has consistently ranked among the best in the world. But perhaps you did not know that, over the weekend, the Kiwi boys blew out their arch-rivals Australia by a score of 43–5—their largest winning margin in the history of this storied rivalry—to take home the coveted Bledisloe Cup.
Over the course of their dominating victory, the All Blacks executed just about everything you need to execute to win at rugby. Early on in the game, they attempted the classic “big guy with a mustache builds up a ton of momentum and just barrels his way across the line for a try” play, to great success.
Twenty minutes in, they ran the “cute little reverse allows Richie Mo’unga to juke a couple of Dundees out of their shoes” play for their second try of the evening.
From there, the All Blacks were unstoppable. Just a few minutes later, they pulled the big guns out of their playbook, unleashing the “superb kick turns the game into a track meet that Mo’unga wins easily” formation to make it 19-0.
And the pummeling just went on and on and on, as New Zealand’s men just worked flawlessly to put together an ideal performance on a huge stage. A half hour in, a lineout near the goal line created a mass of bodies that carried Dane Coles across for a try that further distanced them from their opponents. And though, right after halftime, Australia managed their lone score before New Zealand could get another, the All-Blacks didn’t let up on the gas even as the game appeared decided. In the final 10 minutes, they scored another pair of tries, first with some quick reflexes by Rieko Ioane in the corner and then with an epic 50-meter sprint by Jordie Barrett to finalize the scoreboard.
But wait! Perhaps no play was more psychologically impactful than the very last one. How could this be, you ask? Well, Australia had a shot at a garbage time try to at least walk away with a little dignity, but with a final burst of energy, it was Barrett who shut it down with a brilliant tackle to preserve the record margin. The absolute cheek!
Sometimes it’s just nice to watch a bunch of people who are really good at their jobs be really good at their jobs.