All Blacks rival class of '87

2011-10-18 14:06

Auckland - Former Australia captain Nick Farr-Jones believes the current New Zealand team that will play in Sunday's Rugby World Cup final against France stands comparison with the All Blacks side that won the inaugural edition of rugby's showpiece tournament back in 1987.

The 2011 All Blacks swept aside Australia 20-6 in last weekend's semi-finals and are overwhelming favourites to defeat a France team that only scraped past 14-man Wales 9-8 in an all European last four encounter.

"It is worth reflecting that in past Rugby World Cups, only one team stood head and shoulders above the pack," former Wallaby captain Farr-Jones wrote in Tuesday's New Zealand Herald.

"They were the All Black band of 1987 in the tournament's inaugural event.

"In that event New Zealand won and daylight came second," added Farr-Jones.

"They would go on to dominate world rugby for two and a half years.

I am sure their brothers of 2011 will make sure they don't get in front of themselves this week, but, with one match remaining, this All Black team looks destined to replicate the '87 achievement," said Farr-Jones, who in 1991 captained Australia to the first of their two World Cup titles.

Many pundits had predicted Australia would push New Zealand close at Eden Park - a ground where the All Blacks haven't lost since 1994 - but in the end they had no answer to the home team's fearsome pace and power.

"They were just too good on Sunday night against a determined Australian team. You can only play as well as you are allowed and yet again the Wallabies were shut down across the paddock," said Farr-Jones.

"They (New Zealand) are the greatest exponents of ball-in-hand complete rugby and after 15 minutes the Wallabies had missed a tackle for each minute."

Farr-Jones was also impressed with the performance of third-choice New Zealand flyhalf Aaron Cruden, only playing because of tournament-ending groin injuries to Dan Carter and Colin Slade, although the Australia great recognised the novice No 10 and the remaining backs "could not have prospered if it wasn't for the platform being laid up front".

"He executed his job very well and, while there were some expected lapses, his general maturity and calmness was the standout for me," Farr-Jones said of Cruden. "His coolness in keeping the scoreboard ticking with a well-executed first-half drop goal again showed this New Zealand team have many ways of putting oppositions to the sword."

And as for All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw, who has been nursing a foot injury, Farr-Jones said: "You could have fooled me that their captain, Richie McCaw, was on one leg.

"He seemed to live in the pocket of scrumhalf Will Genia and made life for the cornerstone of the Wallaby team tough. McCaw should deservedly be hoisting the Webb Ellis Cup on Sunday night."


  • Brandan Don - 2011-10-18 14:13

    We weren't apart of 1987 and were robbed this year of a chance to play NZ. Stupid comments to make

      Brett - 2011-10-18 14:30

      Exactly Brandon. They are an incestuous bunch! I have said this before and I say it again, they might as well compete as one team because they look like one club! What is next? An Australian assistant coach for New Zealand?

      Noskalator - 2011-10-18 20:43

      Nice one Brett. At least we aren't raveged by AIDS.

      Bok - 2011-10-18 21:43

      Well said Nick you are a true sportsman. Some thing all the Protea fans could learn from.In regards to 1987 the All Blacks asked for your team to be included. Even if it was you would probably not got through to the Final lack of talent. Winners are Grinners go the mighty All Blacks 4 more years guys

  • Jeffrey - 2011-10-18 14:41

    All Blacks by 30. Smash those undeserving French!

  • Barry - 2011-10-18 14:55

    Choke Choke

      Bob - 2011-10-18 19:25

      yes barry i agree the proteas did choke but you can rebuild for 2015 mate

      Barry - 2011-10-18 21:01

      I am not your mate you prick

      Bob - 2011-10-19 07:47

      oowwww baawwy sorry did i hurt ur feeewwings mate

  • Andy - 2011-10-18 16:05

    Torn between the French shouldn't be anywhere near the final and the AB's deserve to choke, again .... This just proves that the format of the tournament is all wrong, this is a farce. I think I'll find a netball match to watch instead of this final ...

      tim.hickson1 - 2011-10-19 08:38

      how is the format wrong? you lost in knock out rugby which us kiwi's are far too familiar with for my liking haha

  • wayne.churches - 2011-10-18 16:09


      Brandon - 2011-10-18 16:28

      Wayne.Churches what do you mean once and for all? This is the 24th year you trying to achieve something we've done twice allready? Oh forgive me, I see by your lastname you mean to say "Please Lord give it to us once". Heheheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

      Bob - 2011-10-18 19:31

      GO THE ALL BLACKS !!!!

      Barry - 2011-10-18 21:37

      GOOOOO FRANCE !!!!

  • Brandon - 2011-10-18 16:10

    All I know is that in all previous world cups these arrogant All Blacks lifted the cup before they played the final game only to be rudely awaken. I hope history repeats itself.

      Noskalator - 2011-10-18 20:44

      Awww poor Brandon, still crying to his mummy about big bad Bryce. Want me to cal the waaaambulance?

      Barry - 2011-10-18 21:39

      @Nos does Brandon have Aids as well. Like you wish on other people on this site ?

      Noskalator - 2011-10-18 21:55

      @ Barry I didn't wish AIDS on anyone, I said he lives in an AIDS ravaged country. Truth hurts budy. Now back to blaming Bryce, off you go.

      Barry - 2011-10-18 22:15

      @Nos...You are really one sick person.

      Noskalator - 2011-10-19 00:27

      @ Barry, Glad I'm annoying you, because SA fans on this site are really disgusting. You deserve everything that comes your way. And your comments on this sight have been dispicable during the world cup, so don't try to take the high gound here.

      Barry - 2011-10-20 08:16

      @Nos. You are annoying. Your comments are disgusting. If you cant see that you consistently cross the line all the time with your comments, you really need to go get some help.

  • pages:
  • 1