Not many people picked Argentina to beat the All Blacks on Saturday afternoon in Sydney, and All Blacks legend Sir John Kirwan certainly wasn’t one of them.
On Sky Sport NZ’s show The Breakdown, Kirwan joked about why the All Blacks would win the test comfortably, crediting Los Pumas’ lack of game time and the challenges they’ve had to overcome with COVID-19. They hadn’t played a test match in 402 days, where they defeated the United States at the Rugby World Cup.
He suggested that the All Blacks “don’t play your top side” as they look to develop players ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Kirwan’s comments were heavily criticised on social media, with former Springboks prop and 2019 World Cup winner Tendai Mtawarira, also known as ‘The Beast’, saying after the match that the former All Black had been “too cocky.” Other fans on Twitter seemed to have a similar reaction.
Too cocky mate ???. https://t.co/qTzXXxo5RQ
— Tendai Mtawarira (@Beast_TM) November 14, 2020
Never underestimate Argentina?
— ? (@the__goat12) November 14, 2020
— DayvidTee (@DayvidTee) November 14, 2020
Kirwan admitted that he had to eat “humble pie” after the test though, as Argentina recorded their first-ever win over the All Blacks.
Eat humble pie I’ll have to eat the breakdown desk, great win and well deserved for Argentina, they taught us passion, commitment and how to turn adversity into a positive, estoy feliz para vos
— Sir John Kirwan (@JohnKirwan_14) November 14, 2020
Both Nicolas Sanchez and Richie Mo’unga traded penalties early, but the Pumas controlled the match from then on. Sanchez was a particular standout, scoring all of his sides 25 points, outscoring the All Blacks by 10-points on his own.
The defensive performance of the side was especially impressive, with captain Pablo Mater leading from the front.
At the set-piece, the Pumas also shut down the All Blacks when it counted, especially when the favourites had chances to score points with attacking mauls but on more than one occasion, one the lineout against the throw. Argentina also dominated the All Blacks scrum.
The win sees the All Blacks lose two matches in a row for the first time since 2011, a stat Kirwan joked about as well.
“When was the last time the All Blacks lost two in a row?”
His comments come just a week after he controversially suggested that World Rugby get rid of red cards, after Bledisloe IV saw two players sent off.
Can someone please remove John Kirwan from the sky sports team. I like him, and he comes across as a great bloke, and was a great player, but clearly he has no understanding of the tactics of the game. He was a terrible coach, and is a terrible rugby pundit.
— David Cook (@DavidCook88) November 14, 2020
John Kirwan needs some humble pie!!! The NZ arrogance makes this victory even sweeter for the Pumas.
— Hein Koen (@Mr_H_Koen) November 14, 2020
Arrogance is your biggest enemy
— Richard Noor. PhD (@NoorRichard) November 14, 2020
— Gerwyn Thomas (@GerwynThomas1) November 14, 2020
‘Did that really just happen?’
— Tanya (@GongGasGirl) November 14, 2020
I’m sure John Kirwan regretting this! ?
— Chevyhh (@Chevyhh) November 14, 2020
Sir John Kirwan said earlier in the week on the Breakdown that Argentina pose no threat to the All Blacks, Lol
— Tony Soprano (@___Heisenberg1) November 14, 2020
John Kirwan next Monday: There’s no need for South America in the game, people don’t pay money to see that…
— Tim O’Connor (@timoconnorbl) November 14, 2020
Humble pie becoming the favorite dish?
— James (@jamestaylor_09) November 15, 2020
That being said, his response hasn’t all been negative, with his most recent Tweet having been met with some praise after he admitted he was wrong.
Well said JK – all of us have to eat humble pie at some stage ?
— Justin Middleton (@rugbybroadcastr) November 14, 2020
You are so right here @JohnKirwan_14 , Argentina deserved to win. Congratulations to them too.
— Suzanne Clark (@SuzymaySuzanne) November 14, 2020
Respect Sir – a true gent
— Craig (@balumbah) November 14, 2020
Kirwan will be back on The Breakdown this week, where he’ll be expected to discuss his comments and the match that followed.
As for the Pumas, they’re set to face the Wallabies in Newcastle this weekend. A win would see them go top of the Tri Nations standings, and put them in a good position to win it all in a few weeks time. The All Blacks are on a bye this week, but will have a chance to get revenge in Newcastle in two weekends time.
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