RWC 2011 final in pictures
Maybe it was always going to come down to a single point if that's all you are aiming for to win. An unimpressive, drawn out victory for a side over-hyped and said to have 20 points over those wine-swilling poseurs. A hollow victory. A side of veteran players who played to the rule book on friendly turf and with friendly media and PR to give them self-confidence and in return they got a copybook response back from the opposition. Two sides, style and tactics mostly unchanged, on the same playing field as they were in 1987. One European team versus a team of Europeans and Polynesians. They were experienced and had the confidence to play it their way and to dictate the game on their terms in the end, even if they were within the striking distance of an upset. They might only be one point winners on the night - it's the winning that counts. But enough about National and their election chances let's talk about the rugby instead.
All a bit of a blur in the end. As the random Maori kid said on Te Karere, "...but, yeah we won."
The stadium must have enjoyed the struggle, on TV a bit flat. Victims of hype. Must have cost a fortune. How much did the government pay again?
One point at Eden Park.
Started with an eerily quiet afternoon. Empty shopping centre carparks.
Abandoned beer. Beer left undrunk in a street, in NZ? No one anywhere. No road traffic. Like Quiet Earth.Am I Bruno Laurence?
Abandoned Police cars.
Pass the pub. How are we going? - Just done the haka. Excellent. Heard the first ten minutes from TVs out of every house all the way through town.
Right, so I haven't missed anything.Still haven't missed anything. Half time and it's anyone's game. Thanks, Piri - missie-teko. Acting, playing roles without flare, shadow boxing, shadow rugby. There are only two tin-arsed bastards in the World who could fuck us at this point: one of them is Australia (because they're cunts) and the other one is France (because they are flukey).Nail-biting last ten with one point in it. They've been playing league a bit and dicking around. Ugly and unappealing and fuck all on the board to show for it. So why not...... send in the pin-up boy to shoulder barge them to a stalemate.France, so close. NZ so far.The commentator on TV3 was begging them to kick it out as soon as the 80 came up. Telling him what to do, pleading to him to kick it out.
And he did. 8-7.
Quelle horreur! Or whatever the French would say.
Ritchie and the other 4 million All Blacks were relieved. Happy and over-joyed, yeah, but also, mainly relieved.
Graham Henry, RIP, Sir.That's a real New Zealander - doing his duty. To put New Zealand on a dainty golden cup.
Will Aotearoa be there?