Friday, 14 October 2011

Fear factor

I must admit I’m looking forward to watching a bit of rugby this weekend without having to wake up in the morning feeling sick with anticipation and fear. Well done England.

So, far from feeling envious, I in fact pity the French, the Welsh, the Aussies and the Kiwis.

Especially the Kiwis, as New Zealand’s semi-final against Australia on Sunday has taken on a national significance way beyond the imagination of mere mortals.

The New Zealand nation has had, let’s face it, a disastrous year. After the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch and the mining disaster at Pike River, now comes an oil tanker aground in the Bay of Plenty on the North Island, spilling thousands of gallons of oil into the ocean and polluting kilometres of otherwise pristine coastline – and this in a country that justifiably takes massive pride in its natural beauty.

And so to the rugby – a chance for New Zealanders to put their annus horribilis year behind them – a  chance for the All Blacks to progress to the World Cup Final – a chance to compete for a prize that, despite consistently being ranked #1 in world rugby, the All Blacks have failed to land for 24 years – a chance that they must take without their poster-boy talisman – a chance that they must take with their captain playing on one leg – a chance that they must take against their old foe Australia, a team that has beaten them twice in the last 12 months – a chance that they simply must take.

Put simply the All Blacks have a chance to lift the hopes and spirits of a nation. Or to leave them damaged beyond repair.

Melodramatic as it sounds, defeat to Australia could be one disaster too far.

2 comments:

Nursedude said...

After speaking with more than a few Kiwis, for them, losing would be bad enough.

Losing to the Wallabies at Eden Park would REALLY rub salt into the wound. A loss to their yellow-clad auld enemy would be hide-the-sharp-objects time for AB fans.

anne bebbington said...

Mind you if they do beat the Matildas they shouldn't have any problems despatching Les Bleus unless of course Monsieur Rolland is officiating