Newton’s fifth law of rugby dynamics

Max Salmon
Insights Newsletter
20 October, 2023

How sweet is the sound of victory! On Sunday morning, the All Blacks won against the Irish team. To most, this came as a pleasant surprise. Indeed, only a few weeks ago, there was rampant, unpatriotic doubt about New Zealand’s ability even to make it to the quarter finals.

However, an educated few foresaw this sudden turnaround.

How could this be? Well, the science is quite elementary. Consider that New Zealand has won three Rugby World Cups since the event’s inception – in 1987, 2011, and 2015.

Now, let’s reflect upon what these years have in common. Correct: 
Fiscally conservative governments! Lange’s 4th Labour government was in power during our first win and Key’s National government for our second and third.

The conclusion is inescapable. Fiscally conservative, economically responsible, commonsensical, nation saving, prosperity inducing, divinely mandated, neoliberal governments produce World-Cup-winning rugby teams. It’s practically scientific fact.

Our games with Ireland display this in microcosm. A whopping 80% of all our test match losses to the Emerald Isle have occurred during the tenure of the outgoing, fiscally profligate, Labour government.

Rugby illiterates unfamiliar with the sport might accuse me of mistaking correlation for causation. But for scholars of the game (such as myself), three data points are all that is required to establish a clearly immutable law.

So, you can see why I was unsurprised at the outcome for the boys in black last Sunday. Their success was preordained. Just as certain as the sun rising in the east. With a National government receiving the people's acclaim on Saturday, they could rest easy in the knowledge of certain victory.


I fear that the promise of a fiscally conservative government alone may not be enough. The new team in the Beehive must act immediately and decisively if we are to be guaranteed success in the coming games.

If National really cares about the national sport, we will have a mini-budget within the week, outlining cuts in government spending and taxes. Plans for reaching surplus must be unveiled. Now is not the time for political pragmatism or centrist equivocation. Now is the time for immediate action to save our economy, and our national pride.

A balanced budget is the key to perfect scrums, precise drop goals, and the eternal glory of New Zealand rugby! Only the most entrenched unionists would suggest otherwise.

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