Everything is resting on the All Blacks game against France on Saturday night. Last time I checked public lynchings were long dead in New Zealand, but that could all change if Les Bleus pull off the second major upset of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. For momentum and team spirit the All Blacks can not afford to lose a game in their pool matches, especially against the French.
Not only will a loss to France set them back in their bid to win the World Cup, it will also knock them from the No 1 IRB World ranking. To add salt to the wound, France will leap frog from there current 5th spot to No 1. So listen up Mr All Blacks this just ain’t happening.
There are too many reason’s to win this game, first and foremost it’s Richie McCaw’s 100th game. What a career Richie has had, I love watching him play. His work in and around the breakdown is brilliant, he knows – well most of the time – just how far he can push it with the ref.
Which leads me to the question, just what is it that these guys have that give them the edge? And I’m not just talking about the All Blacks here, I’m talking about all of the elite sports players around the world. Sure they have a natural talent, but so do many other people. So what is it that really sets them apart? It’s their belief that they can and will. And sadly, for the All Blacks it’s their limiting beliefs when it comes to World Cup games that prevents them from winning. That is why the game on Saturday night against Les Bleus is so important, in World Cup meetings it’s 2 wins each, a loss here will almost certainly stop the All Blacks dead in their tracks and they will live up to the choker title they have been given.
I like to think of myself as an optimist, you know the glass is always half full rather than half empty, but even I am nervous and questioning whether the boys have the goods needed to get across the line. Does that make me a weekend pessimist or just a realist that no matter what your world ranking if you don’t stand up to the mark each and every time you will be punished? I’ll let you know in my next post, enjoy the weekend of sport.