September 3rd, 2005

New Zealand

New Zealand: the world superpower at everything that matters.

E Ihowa Atua,
O ngä iwi mätou rä,
Äta whakarongona;
Me aroha noa.
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tö atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

God of nations at thy feet
in the bonds of love we meet.
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend NEW ZEALAND!

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Such a beautiful anthem. I am particularly fond of the first two lines of the last verse.

Aotearoa, rugged individual,
glistens like a pearl
at the bottom of the world.
The tyranny of distance
didn't stop the cavalier,
so why should it stop me?
I'll conquer and stay free!

- Split Enz, Six Months In A Leaky Boat

The All Blacks sure did conquer tonight! New Zealand 34 - 24 Australia. It may not initially look impressive, but consider that it is the highest score by a single team in this year's Tri-Nations and the highest winning margin (interestingly, the same amount of points were scored tonight as in last week's 31-27 defeat of South Africa by New Zealand).

And now we can raise high the TRI-NATIONS CUP! The Bledisloe and Tri-Nations Cups are back in Kiwi hands (well, we successfully defended the Bledisloe this year), right where they belong!

You know, it would suck to be Australia right about now. Not only did they fail to win a single Tri-Nations fixture, but they've just lost five games in a row for the first time since 1986. Meanwhile, New Zealand has just equalled our record for most consecutive wins at home (sixteen), Doug Howlett scored a hat-trick of tries, and we may have just put the nail in the coffin of the careers of Aussie captain George Gregan and coach Eddie Jones. Oh, it is SUCH a good night to be Kiwi tonight. The night is BLACK. We may have the makings of the greatest All Blacks team since our amazing squad of 1996: Dan Carter, the single greatest player in the world; two other competent kickers in Leon MacDonald and Luke McAlister; an amazing backline with stars such as Doug Howlett, Joe Rokocoko, Malili 'Mils' Muliaina, and Rico Gear; one of the best captains ever in Tana Umaga; the most powerful forward pack on the planet with the ability to turn just about any scrum; I could go on and on. I can't fail to mention Chris Jack though, my favourite forward in a long time.

I am so proud to be a New Zealander. We defeated the very best the Northern Hemisphere could throw at us, and now we have conquered the best of the Southern Hemisphere too. Oh, it feels so good to be from the most powerful country on earth at everything that matters. I'm trying to think of any country of comparable population (a mere four million!) that has ever been this dominant of any sport. The closest I can think of is Australia, but their population of twenty million is five times larger!

I'll say it now: the New Zealand All Blacks are the single greatest team in any sport in history. You show me one other team with a history of over 100 years and a winning record higher than 84%.

We've got the Tri-Nations and the Bledisloe
So that just leaves one more Cup to go
You know good things always come in threes
We've got a Cup to win: ROLL ON WORLD CUP 2007!