What a weekend of sport for New Zealand supporters! There was plenty of anticipation and hype leading up to the All Blacks vs France game in the Rugby World Cup, and we weren’t disappointed. The first ten minutes looked ominous as the French took early control, I wouldn’t have been alone as I sat there holding my breath waiting for the All Blacks to change gear. And then it happened. Three tries in eleven minutes!
This game was pivotal not only for the All Black team and their supporters but also the other teams and the critics. The All Blacks met this challenge head on and showed why they are ranked number one in the world. They used what ball they had effectively and with precision in attack, and their defense was solid. No team can stop an intercept try being scored, I still have the vision of that Carlos Spencer pass being intercepted by Stirling Mortlock in the 2003 semi-final match that turned the game on it’s head and saw the Wallabies beat us. Not so in this game though. The All Blacks looked impressive, and have definitely quietened their detractors, for now anyway.
I can’t overlook the fact this was Richie McCaw’s 100th test for the All Blacks, congratulations Richie, an amazing achievement. What a way to celebrate your milestone. On milestones you have to feel sorry for Mils Muliaina at the moment, sitting on 98 games. Israel Dagg played his socks off at No 15 and was awarded man of the match. What wins over the coaching staff in this instance – performance or commitment and milestones? Both players are world class, but the All Blacks need to win this World Cup so it needs to be based on performance and after last weeks game Dagg should get the nod. Am I alone thinking this way? Share your thoughts below.
So it will be with a quiet confidence I watch the All Blacks play Canada this weekend, this could be Muliaina’s 99th game. The other game to keep an eye on this weekend is the France vs Tonga game, could this be the second big upset of the pool matches.
And let’s not forget the other New Zealand team playing this weekend, the mighty Warriors against Manly in the AFL final – after their last 2 wins my money is on the Warriors! Good luck fella’s.