The Economist has an article about New Zealand and the Rugby World Cup.
Here’s an excerpt:
ONE week into the Rugby World Cup, New Zealand has lived up to its claim to be a “stadium of four million”. A spectacular opening ceremony in Auckland on September 9th saw massed formations of Maori warriors stomp out the haka war dance, while a fleet of waka (war canoes) filled the Waitemata harbor. (A plan to run a parade of sheep down Auckland’s main thoroughfare later in the tournament has thankfully been scrapped). John Key, the country’s genial prime minister, even gave us a Bushism (1:33).
There has been some fine rugby as well. Argentina and Japan put heavyweights England and France to the test. The start of the second week provided the first real upset, when Ireland shocked Australia with a 15-6 victory on September 17th. The 41-10 win of the host country’s mighty All Blacks—currently ranked first in the world—over tiny Tonga was disappointingly narrow. But they put on a stronger showing in an 83-7 canter over Japan on September 16th. Their biggest challenge may be shouldering the weight of their countrymen’s expectations: the All Blacks have not won a World Cup since New Zealand co-hosted the inaugural tournament in 1987.