NZ fans confident, but nervous
Auckland – In an online poll conducted on New Zealand Herald's website revealed that the majority of New Zealanders are quite nervous about the All Blacks chances in the Rugby World Cup final.
53% of the estimated 17 000 participants voted that they are reasonably confident the All Blacks will reclaim the Webb Ellis Cup they won on the very same turf 24 years ago, despite them being instilled as the overwhelming favourites by bookmakers.
However, remarkably, the second highest tally to date has 18% of participants indicating that they are terrified that the French will produce another upset for the books, while 11% voted for a comfortable All Blacks victory and 8% really couldn’t care less what happens on Sunday – which could indicate that there are still a fair few foreigners still in New Zealand for IRB’s jewel on the calendar.
“Thankfully the All Blacks are about the only people in New Zealand not a touch complacent right now.
“Everyone else it seems has already decided the final has been won with others going as far to label the French as the worst finalists of all time,” New Zealand Herald rugby writer, Gregor Paul wrote in his column.
The fact remains that to qualify for the final, a team has to remain unbeaten through the knockout rounds – something the French have done - and pool results have little or no bearing on the outcome of these matches.
Therefore, Paul suggests that many have confused winning a World Cup with the way a team wins matches instead of the fact that to win matches; a team does not necessarily have to be the most gifted players or carry the best form, as this year’s tournament has proven.
He proceeded to warn the public that their overconfidence could be misinterpreted as arrogance and that it has not been through any luck that the French have made the finals.
“The Wallabies took their semi-final defeat in precisely the right spirit - they were humble, generous and even supportive of the All Blacks in regards to the final - qualities that had previously been lacking.
“New Zealanders could maybe learn something from them. Boastful, uber-confidence is not the Kiwi way.”