Kick­ing him­self:

The Southland Times - - Sport - Hamish Bid­well

But what if that hap­pened at the Rugby World Cup? Twelve months out from New Zealand’s ti­tle de­fence, in Ja­pan, it’s a ques­tion that will be asked with in­creas­ing fre­quency.

Win­ning the last two edi­tions of the tour­na­ment gives this gen­er­a­tion of All Blacks a lit­tle more breath­ing room than those who didn’t quite man­age that in the years be­tween 1987 and 2011. But woe be­tide the bloke whose er­rors po­ten­tially scup­per a three-peat next year.

In case you missed it, New Zealand lost 36-34 to South Africa in Welling­ton on Satur­day. It was an en­ter­tain­ing game in which the All Blacks made a lot of er­rors and couldn’t trans­late op­por­tu­ni­ties into points.

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