I should be dancing on the chairs and celebrating like there is no tomorrow. The All Blacks have been the dominating force of the Rugby World Cup pool matches and had firmed as strong favourites. Then the news that stopped the nation – Dan Carter was out of the World Cup with a groin injury.
Let’s forget the impact of this on the All Blacks chances of winning this year, and focus on how devastating this must be for Dan Carter. I’ve played sports – softball if you’re interested – at a relatively high level, so I have an idea of how gutted Dan must be feeling. Imagine this for a moment, you are doing what you love and have just been named captain of your team for the first time in a world cup clash and then wham-o you tear your groin muscle and have to pull out of the game. That’s only the beginning of the bad news though, you see the team doctor and are told that’s it; you’re out for the rest of the cup.
I have experienced that gut wrenching feeling when you are told you can’t play due to injury and it knocks the wind out of you. Part of you wants to kick and scream, and another part of you wants to hide in a dark room and cry. All of that hard work, all of the sacrifices you have made leading up to this point take on a whole new meaning. You feel cheated, robbed, you ask why and never get an answer, well not one that satisfies you anyway.
Dan Carter appears at least outwardly, to be taking this news extremely well. Check out his interview in this Rugby World Cup video. He is speaking from the heart, literally. Here’s hoping for the sake of every All Black supporter out there he is right when he says “there is enough depth and it’s such a good squad” that players can step up when needed. Colin Slade is Dan’s likely replacement and he has huge shoes to fill, perhaps this is his time to show he has the goods.
Without Dan playing with the All Blacks the competition has been thrown wide open, it has leveled the playing field so to speak. I’m still backing black to take the title although it will be tightly fought. Once we make it past Argentina in the Quarter Finals we’ll face either South Africa or Australia in the Semi’s, this will be our final. If we can get through this game with a win I can see Richie holding the Webb Ellis cup above his head on the 23 October.