I can’t help myself — I’m grinning a mile wide as I type this:
NEW ZEALAND 20 v AUSTRALIA 6
All Black fans were treated to an incredible 80 minutes of rugby on Sunday night. If anyone was still unsure about the state of the All Blacks game during the singing of the national anthem, those worries should have vanished when the camera panned down the line of players. All were calm. Focussed. Steely-eyed with fierce determination.
And that was even before they did the haka. WHOA.
Every. Single. Man in Black. Was as one. This should have been a red flag in the minds of the opposition who were perhaps still luxuriating in the memory of their performance of the week before. The ferocity and passion of this haka was a clear standout – All Black muscles were bulging, blood was visibly pounding and the ground shook with intent. Truly something very special.
Consequently, right from the moment Quade Cooper’s first kick went out on the full, it was on. The All Black machine roared into action, sucking up Wallaby players and spitting them out in relentless fashion. It was, as one scribe wrote, like “a wave of black magic crashing relentlessly upon green and gold shores.” The intensity, speed and clinical efficiency at which they took control of the game, grabbing it by the throat, was nothing short of awesome. Fans everywhere were ecstatic. This was the performance we had all yearned for.
|Cory Jane – bloodied but unbowed, Man of the Match!
Friends of this blog will know I’ve spoken before about the type of men who proudly wear the black jersey. They are a rare breed of elite athlete, willing to subject their bodies to all manner of physicality in order to bring honour and pride to their country and its people. Men who will shed blood, sweat and tears on the way to their goal. Men who welcome the challenge and embrace it. I hope they know how much we love them because of it.
|Captain Richie McCaw fends off a tackle
But our World Cup journey is not over yet – there is the not-so small matter of beating France in the Grand Final. Coach Graham Henry reminded us all about that earlier this week: “We’ve got to come down, get to base again, clean sheet of paper and build for this Test match on Sunday against the French.”
Quite right, Graham. Don’t want to count our (French) chickens before they’ve hatched, do we? Been there, done that! So there’ll be no celebrating from me just yet. I’ll wait (nervously/excitedly) until the final whistle on Sunday night. After that, who knows! My neighbours should consider themselves warned – if I actually do get to see Richie McCaw raise the William Webb Ellis trophy in the air this weekend, it may get a little rowdy around here, lol.
GO BLACK!! BRING IT ON HOME!