Harrowing Time Behind Us Now
Its been a harrowing couple of weeks for many New Zealanders as we waited for the Rugby World Cup to end, but thanks to our mighty All Blacks now we can relax again. In fact talking to my mother the other day, she brought up a very valid concern – I am suggesting this very tongue in cheek – what are we going to do now there is no more rugby? Obviously she is as much a rugby fan as I am.
Many fans watched the All Blacks during their supposedly easy pool games and worried something was lacking from their game. Were they trying new combinations and new moves? Where they keeping the best until later? My faith remained strong but every now and then a little doubt crept in. We would bring the trophy home again, wouldn’t we?
A reasonably easy win against France in the quarter-finals bolstered my belief. Of course we would. The semi-final against South Africa the following week was tougher, more gruelling but we sneaked the victory. Now to face Australia.
The Wallabies had a great world cup. Their brilliant players gelled together and turned on some beautiful rugby to watch. They had definitely been on a roll. Thankfully the All Blacks decided to bring everything to the final game at Twickenham last weekend and from the very first whistle, their determination to assert dominance showed. While the Australians fought back bravely there was never any time when the All Blacks really looked like losing.
What a great spectacle of rugby we’ve witnessed over the last few weeks. With 48 matches-I have to admit to missing a few of these, only a few mind you-and 271 tries for a total of 2439 points scored, its been a real feast of rugby.
New Zealand celebrated along with the All Blacks team, getting a huge buzz when Richie McCaw held the Rugby World (Webb Ellis) Cup aloft for the second time. Calls for Richie for Prime Minister, and knighthood for Richie were common among the crowds. As a country, we’ll enjoy the glory until the next tournament in four years time. The glory of being the first country to win the World Championship three times, and the first to defend the cup and bring it back home again.
I loved the message on a huge hoarding at Auckland Airport. “Welcome Home Mr Webb Ellis” – Civic receptions are still being held around the country to welcome the boys home and congratulate them on their victory. Their actions both on the off the field have made so many kiwis very proud.
I wanted to include a great image but can’t get it to work. Instead I’ll post the words recorded about the All Black jersey.
“This is not a jersey. This is a portal through which men pass. This is not material. This is fabric that binds us together. This is not a sovernir. This is a reminder of all who have worn it before us. This is not a uniform. This is a school unified. This is victory and loss, but will not be defeated. THIS IS EVERYTHING BUT A JERSEY. ALL BLACKS”