Sunday, October 23, 2011

By 1 (I was completely wrong, but who cares)

So much for predicting the mighty All Blacks would beat the French by 25 points or more in the final of the Rugby World Cup. The bumbling-at-times but still reasonably mighty Blacks won over the relentlessly disciplined French by 1 point. 1 point. Just 1 point. 8-7. To make matters worse the 'stadium of four million' had to endure that scoreline for (I cannot remember) thirty minutes or so.

But we won. We won. After 24 years of failing to win the World Cup we finally won. By just 1 point.

And really, the French scored 7 points as a result of a sloppy All Black play. We spectators were made to feel this win was very hard work. Much harder work than we had thought possible. So hard that it looked like deja-vu, that the French would win ... again. Non, ce n'est pas possible! Yet, in the end, the All Blacks also were relentlessly disciplined, giving away few penalties, and their bumbles, though almost crucial, were few.

But here is the majesty of sport: its unpredictability. So many games at this tournament were won by just one point (two pool games, one semi-final, the final; and one quarter-final was won by only two points). Who predicted that?

And no one, just no one in the four million of us predicted that Stephen Donald would play in the final and kick the goal which won the match!


Pageantmaster said...

Good match Peter+ - I haven't seen such good rugby for a while. France were worthy opponents and pushed NZ hard so the All Blacks deserve fullsome credit and congratulations.

It has been a pleasure to watch, as has the rest of the world cup - thanks so much to you all for hosting it.

Over to us!

Peter Carrell said...

The ABs now have the challenge of winning the Cup on "foreign" soil, and retaining the Cup - neither of which they have done before!

Hoggster said...

Re Stephen Donald: It's just fantastic that life presents second chances when we risk and trust and hope for the best in people. And a look at history in general will show that it is often the biggest mistake makers that have contributed the most to this great world we live in.

Peter as you know I know squat all about rugby but even I feel a sense of nationalistic pride and well being this morning.

The injures and the Stephen Donald angle just make a great thing even greater.

I just know there is good sermon fodder in the story. And that is something I do know about.

Stephen Donald said...

Even I (a non-fan of rugby) was enthralled by the match - especially when my namesake took the initiative!

Peter Carrell said...

Second changes indeed, Andrew ... and an illustrious namesake, Stephen ... definitely something in future sermons about second chances in life!

Father Ron Smith said...

In the case of Stephen Donald and his remarkable come-back from the edge, I suppose one could even borrow that sacred word 'Redemption'. Hooray!

Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,
Congrats to the All Blacks...they showed they can win a hard-fought, slog of a match, not just those where they dominate and overpower their opposition. If only they played that way in the semi-final against the Wallabies!
I was very impressed with the French, too. Many fewer errors than usual, and some good attacking of their own. After that Haka response, will the French become "Public Enemy number 1"? It looks like Quade Cooper has about 6 months leave from that role.
Just heard that next year Argentina will turn the Tri-Nations into the Quad Nations. Will be good to play against a different style of rugby, and no doubt will help the Pumas to get up to a consistent Tier 1 level.
Make sure there's no violation of the 2nd commandment with that All Black Messiah icon in the coming days!

Peter Carrell said...

We are ever humble, Andrew, just like the Australian cricket team ...

Andrew Reid said...

Just saw a replay of St Richie taking a leaf out of the Quade Cooper playbook. Perhaps he'll become France's "public enemy #1"?

Peter Carrell said...

This blog has broad tolerance when it comes to criticism, Andrew, but some subjects are off limits, so this is a last chance saloon warning: no further negativity about Captain Marvel please :)