The Trans-Tasman spirit is dead, with New Zealand rugby fans saying the Wallabies are the team they least wish to see in the Rugby World Cup 2011, according to a New Zealand newspaper poll.
A survey published in the New Zealand Herald ranked Australia the runaway leaders when fans were asked “which country do you least want to win the Rugby World Cup?”.
In the wake of the Wallabies’ Tri Nations series win, from New Zealand, and just weeks after commentator Greg Martin called for the All Blacks’ haka to be banned, Australia polled 33.8 per cent of the poll – almost double the note for the next least-popular team,South Africa.
The Springboks polled 18.6 per cent.
The All Blacks regularly dominate Bledisloe Cup Tests with the Wallabies, but Australia have won two Rugby World Cup finals, in 1991 and 1999, to New Zealand’s one, in 1987.
And the Wallabies have twice knocked New Zealand out of the tournament in the semi-finals, despite being ranked below their All Black rivals.
England ranked third on the vote, polling 9.1 per cent, withFrance fourth on modest 6.5 per cent even though Les Bleus, too, have eliminated the All Blacks twice, in 1999 and 2007.
Interestingly, 4.3 per cent of New Zealanders said they least wanted to see the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup.
by Buford Balony