A loss at Twickenham is something that sticks with the All Blacks.
Former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick recalls a 15-9 loss that became a sore reminder. “It became our battle cry, ‘Remember ’93’,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph. “From that day on, we never wanted to go through the same experience again.”
Fitzpatrick is willing to bet that the current crop of All Blacks will be struggling to forget about their record 38-21 defeat to England at Twickenham in 2012.
“We don’t whinge about it, but we don’t forget,” he said. “You can be sure that Kieran Read, who was in the team that day, hasn’t forgotten.
“It just shows you that if you take us on, there’s always the chance that we might have an off-day. That’s what we now realise as All Blacks, that our opponents will often have the game of their lives.
“Look at England in 2012, or Ireland in 2016, when they beat us in Chicago. Those results are the turning points.”
FItzpatrick also detailed the different environment the famous Twickenham Stadium presents.
“It’s a very intense environment. The crowd aren’t right on top of you, like they used to be at Cardiff Arms Park, but you feel the history of the game.
“As a young boy growing up 12,000 miles away, I never imagined that I would be running out on to the same misty ground where the legends played.”
While former Wallabies halfback George Gregan compared the All Blacks to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, Fitzpatrick made his own comparison.
“In sport, Formula One drivers are probably the closest thing I have seen to the All Blacks, purely because everyone in those teams are dedicated to getting two cars over the line first,” he said. “It’s the same with New Zealand rugby. A lot of players could earn much more money here in Europe, but they think only of wearing the black jersey.
“Ultimately, that’s our job as All Blacks – to make sure the legacy continues. It makes you feel very honoured, very humbled.”
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