Rugby World Cup 2011

Losing shouldn't be an option

2011-09-21 09:54
Gary Gold (File)

Auckland - Tournament heavyweights South Africa and New Zealand took umbrage on Wednesday at suggestions they would ever purposefully lose matches so to manipulate results at the Rugby World Cup.

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Following Australia's shock loss to Ireland last weekend the draw has thrown up the possibility of a northern versus southern hemisphere final and there have been suggestions some teams may try to avoid harder paths to the final by losing games.

But that has gone down like a lead balloon with teams, particularly two-time World Cup winners South Africa and tournament favourites New Zealand.

"Absolutely, not even a question about it. It would be preposterous to even suggest anything otherwise," aghast Springboks forwards coach Gary Gold said.

"Every World Cup winner in the past has won every game that they have participated in the competition. That's a key significant factor to winning and we realise that.

"That's why the Springboks over the last number of World Cups have an 88 percent win record and under no circumstances would it even be considered that anything else other than winning all the way to the end is what's going to be required."

All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen was equally as adamant when the question was put to him on Wednesday.

"We'd get hung from the highest tree in New Zealand if we go out and try to lose a Test match. It's just not in our psyche," Hansen said.

"New Zealanders expect the All Blacks to go out and play the best they can, whoever it is."

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