New Zealand players react during their international rugby union match against England at Twickenham in London December 1, 2012.
There is nothing like loving yourself. World champions New Zealand will head into Saturday's autumn international against England at Twickenham with a bloated and untrue opinion of their own self-worth.
The All Blacks seek revenge for their only defeat in 32 matches, against England a year ago, when they return to the scene of that record 38-21 loss to Stuart Lancaster's side last December.
Here are a few of the lines that have apparently been pinned to a plethora of rooms used by the All Blacks during their trip to England ahead of the big match, according to the Daily Telegraph.
"We are the most dominant team in the history of the world”
“We are playing England – this is about history, about human nature”
“On Saturday, don’t moan, even to yourself”
Former All Blacks captain Zinzan Brooke claims New Zealand will win at the weekend before thumping England in their three-game series on their home patch next summer.
“We lost to England in 1993 and were gutted because we knew we were the better side. We had to wait 18 months to play them again and dismembered England 45-29 in the 1995 World Cup semi-final with Jonah Lomu running riot scoring four tries," he said.
"This All Blacks side will have similar motivation coming into this game at Twickenham and they won’t need any team talk to get them up for this one.”
Warming to the theme of being a touch too arrogant, Brooke also said: "It is going to be three zip in New Zealand to follow up the All Blacks win on Saturday.
"After England go through the Six Nations they will be right there for the taking in New Zealand. We are going to have the opportunity to rack up four wins in a row over England and I won’t need to put that on my Christmas wish list because it will happen."
Oval Talk is not disputing New Zealand are the best side in Rugby Union, but to say they are the most dominant in history is nonsense.
Winning only two World Cups since 1987, both on home territory and both against France, hardly makes them out as dominant. More like classic underachievers. They scraped home nervously against France 8-7 in the final of the last World Cup two years ago.
In fact, there is a case to be made for saying they are a bunch of bottlers such is their lack of success for a country that live, breathes and eats the oval ball.
Here is the All Blacks roll of World Cup dishonour at the sport they claim to have dominated:
1987: Champions - beat France 29-9
1991: Semi-finalists - lost to Australia 6-16
1995: Finalists - lost to South Africa 12-15 (after extra time)
1999: Semi-finalists - lost to France 31-43
2003: Semi-finalists - lost to Australia 10-22
2007: Quarter-finalists - lost to France 18-20
2011: Champions - beat France 8-7
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