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'The aura is gone': Has Argentina's victory shattered the All Blacks mystique?

By Online Editors

Trending on RugbyPass

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Historically, the All Blacks haven’t just been the strongest rugby team in the world – they’ve stood head and shoulder above the rest.

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England, Australia and South Africa have flirted with greatness – most recently, the Springboks side of 2009 that bested the All Blacks 3-0 over the year – but it’s New Zealand that have inevitably risen back to the top. Even factoring in the periods where there’s been the odd drop in form, a game against the All Blacks has never been anything but a massive challenge.

Scotland and Italy are still yet to taste victory against New Zealand and, until Saturday evening, Argentina’s Pumas were in the same boat. Following the 25-15 loss in Sydney, however, fans have started to question whether the All Blacks still possess the aura of invincibility that has made them such tough opponents over the decades.

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Post-match press conference with New Zealand coach Ian Foster, assistant coach John Plumtree and captain Sam Cane.

From 2010 until the middle of 2018, the All Blacks maintained a superb 91 percent win-rate. Since then, results haven’t been quite so impressive.

First, the Springboks surprised the All Blacks in Wellington. Then, on the end of year tour to Europe, New Zealand suffered a second loss for the year against an inspired Ireland side.

That loss in Dublin marked just NZ’s second-ever to the Irish (their first came in 2016) – and their first in Dublin. The All Blacks also managed lucky escapes against South Africa and England, which made for somewhat of a disappointing year for the men in black.

2019 wasn’t much better. Tier-one wins came against Argentina, South Africa, Ireland and Wales, while the Wallabies inflicted a mammoth 47-26 win over their trans-Tasman rivals in Perth and England triumphed in the World Cup semi-final.

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Now, with Ian Foster in charge, the All Blacks are sitting on a 40 percent record for the year.

That 91 percent rate between 2010 and 2018 has subsequently plummeted to just 63 percent and Argentina’s historic win on Saturday could be the last nail in the coffin, as far as some are concerned.

Rugby fans from across the world have taken to Twitter to ask the question, has the fear-factor left the All Blacks?

https://twitter.com/2ndHander/status/1327543021735448578

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https://twitter.com/kev21h/status/1327533802466516993

It’s not the first time in recent months that some have claimed the All Blacks have lost their aura.

Following New Zealand’s draw with Australia in Wellington, former Wallaby David Campese suggested that the tides were turning.

Two weeks later, the All Blacks crushed the Wallabies 43-5.

All Blacks fans will be hoping to see a similar response from their team in their rematch with Argentina on 28 November.

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'The aura is gone': Has Argentina's victory shattered the All Blacks mystique?

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