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
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 on Sunday has taken on a national significance way beyond the imagination of mere mortals. Australia
nation has had, let’s face it, a disastrous year. After the devastating earthquakes in New Zealand Christchurch and the mining disaster at Pike River, now comes an oil tanker aground in the Bay of Plenty on the , 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. North Island
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
could be one disaster too far. Australia