The All Blacks have received a hostile welcome in Dublin by one Irish scribe ahead of their test at Croke Park on Sunday (NZT).
Vincent Hogan, columnist for the Irish Independent, has launched a scathing attack on New Zealand rugby, his targets ranging from World Cup failures to the haka to disrespectful Kiwi journalists.
Seemingly holding a grudge for every one of Ireland's 20 losses to the All Blacks, Hogan labelled the All Blacks the bullies of world rugby who go into "spectacular meltdown" once every four years.
"Outside of their own, few people love the All Blacks," Hogan wrote.
" New Zealand victories are, by and large, statements of power. They smash teams, then run a bus over the bodies. They play through a vaguely malignant strain of intimidation.
"So seeing them get nailed is one of rugby's great redemptive offerings. It's like watching the school ruffian pick the wrong fight and end up with a nosebleed."
Hogan explains one of the main reasons he despises the All Blacks is due to the haka, which to question is to "declare oneself ignorant of All Black heritage".
"The Haka is, essentially, a leery war dance. When the mood takes them, the Blacks embellish it with a gesture that, to the naked eye, looks uncannily like a promise to slit the opponent's throat."
"Turn your back on it, as the Wallabies did in Wellington in '96, and you risk being charged with discourtesy. Face up to it politely, as Brian O'Driscoll and the Lions did in '05, and chances are you're heading for the nearest casualty ward."
Hogan did concede that given Ireland's poor record against the All Blacks (20 losses, one draw) New Zealand has no reason to respect Brian O'Driscoll's troops. However, he could not resist one last parting shot before rounding off his article."Those of us who covered the inaugural World Cup in '87, tripping from what an English journalist referred to as 'one wooden, bungaloid, frontier post to another' as the All Blacks made kindling out of every opponent, could never have imagined how lonesome they would be for the Webb Ellis trophy 21 years on."
Keeping Stock has no doubt that Mr Hogan will be receiving offers of work from the Sunday Star-Times in the very near future!!