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Signal of intent from All Blacks
World Cup ambition for devastating Kiwis
Posted Aug 16, 2010 by Weekend Round-Up
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The world of rugby is fairly quiet at the minute as the new season slowly approaches, but the All Blacks have been sending out signals of intent ahead of next year's World Cup - to be held on home soil in New Zealand in 2011.
The menacing Kiwis have demolished both Australia and reigning World Champions South Africa in the Tri-Nations and need only one bonus point from their final two games to win their 10th Tri-Nations crown.
Yet their backs coach, Wayne Smith, has insisted that his side will need to improve and that their best is yet to come. Frighteningly for everyone else. He claims that the All Blacks can improve a further 25%, that aspects of their game still need polishing and that some areas of their development have yet to be attempted.
If this is the case then England's hopes of success may well be in tatters. Along with everyone else's. Although the All Blacks have failed to deliver in many World Cups, such as the 1995 loss to South Africa and their 3rd place finish in 2003 when England were victorious, surely 2011 will see them add to their 1987 triumph.
In the Tri-Nations they have won 32-12 and 31-17 against the Springboks, and 28-49 and 20-10 against the Wallabies to cement their place as the Southern Hemisphere's leading rugby nation. And in Dan Carter they have the best fly-half in the world who is second in the All-Time points scored list behind England's Jonny Wilkinson.
If the All Blacks continue to progress and play at the level they are then, for me, there is no-one in world rugby who can live with them.
Elsewhere, Bath overcame Ulster 14-26 in a pre-season friendly despite large periods of domination from the Irish side. England's Lewis Moody played for new club Bath.
New Cardiff Blues signing Dan Parks has said he only moved to the Welsh club as he has more chance of winning silverware there. The Scottish fly-half has moved from Glasgow.