Plaudits for All Blacks while Wallabies 'sulk'
Plaudits for All Blacks while Wallabies 'sulk'SHARE
The reigning World Cup champions downed the Wallabies 37-10 in Auckland on Saturday to set a record of 18 consecutive victories.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen felt his Australian opposite Michael Cheika hijacked celebrations with a withering outburst targeting the referee, the news media and claiming the New Zealanders did not respect his Wallabies.
But Cheika was in the minority for not congratulating the All Blacks on their historic achievement.
"The All Blacks march on, fallible for sure, but buoyed by the self-assurance greatness bestows," wrote Paul Rees in London's Observer.
"The best, it is hard not to suspect, is yet to come."
London's Telegraph noted that less than a year after becoming the first team to win back-to-back World Cups "with a much-changed line-up, Steve Hansen's side bolstered their claim to being the greatest ever rugby team".
Among the flood of tributes for the All Blacks' unprecedented winning streak were tweets of congratulations from both the Irish Rugby Union and the British and Irish Lions.
The All Blacks need to win their next seven Tests, which include two against Ireland and three against the British & Irish Lions, if they are to break the outright record of 24 Tests held by Cyprus – who compete in the lower divisions of Europe.
"Great contest from both sides. Congratulations @AllBlacks on your achievement," the Lions tweeted.
"@AllBlacks Congratulations on an incredible winning run," added Ireland who play New Zealand in Chicago and Dublin next month.
Former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick expected the winning sequence to continue, tweeting: "I suspect there will be a few more added 2 the total by this outstanding team".
Former Wallaby Stirling Mortlock tweeted that the All Blacks were "#toogood" while South African cricket great Allan Donald added: "Simply have to applaud the way these men play there (sic) rugby."
Such was the All Blacks' superior finishing that they outscored the Wallabies six tries to one despite enjoying only 35 percent of possession and 32 percent of the territory.
"That said, we saw enough of the real All Blacks to know that this side is still way ahead of the rest of the world and that they will continue to move upwards," wrote Steve James in London's Telegraph.
"Their fitness in the last quarter yet again proved irresistible."
In Sydney's Daily Telegraph Jamie Pandaram referred to the "extraordinarily ugly aftermath" to the Test which saw trans-Tasman relations plunge.
"Australian coach Michael Cheika claimed the Kiwis don't respect them while rival Steve Hansen told him not to get 'sulky'," Pandaram wrote.