BOOK REVIEW: An insight into what makes the All Blacks tick and kick
A new book unravels the history, culture and discipline that has made the Kiwis rugby behemoths
THE JERSEY: The Secrets Behind the World’s Most Successful Team Peter Bills Pan Macmillan Complete strangers held onto one another as if they were family, all eyes trained on one man whose hand seemed to take an age to reach his mouth.
He blew the whistle. The atmosphere erupted with screams, hugs and kisses. Grown men and women were sobbing. The Springboks had beaten the All Blacks. In New Zealand! A few days later in September, a letter in Business Day derided the delirium. The author argued that the degree of celebration was an indictment of how low the standards of Springboks supporters had dropped. A more likely reason for the euphoria was the fact that an unfancied bunch of guys, many of whom were humiliated 57-0 a year ago, had done the unthinkable: they had beaten the best rugby team in the world — arguably the best team ever and almost certainly the most successful sporting team across all codes around the world — at home. The All Blacks jersey carries with it an aura...