NZ win, on and off the pitch

2011-10-24 10:12

Auckland - All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw may have been the man holding the trophy after a gripping Rugby World Cup final against France but this was a tournament that hosts New Zealand won off the field too.

Sunday's 8-7 win over a spirited French team, with much of New Zealand on tenterhooks, was a fitting way for the All Blacks to end their 24-year wait for a second global title since they beat France, also at Eden Park, in 1987.

A fear expressed by more than one pundit before the tournament was that New Zealand fans would be so wrapped up in the fortunes of the All Blacks, they wouldn't have time for anyone else.

But the sight of local supporters in Palmerston North bedecked in Romanian yellow and Georgian red, for a meeting of the Eastern European rivals, nailed that claim. Organisers had promised "a stadium of four million", in reference to the population of New Zealand, and the people delivered.

Staging a Rugby World Cup in a rugby-obsessed country like New Zealand always had a lot to commend it.

England, with its greater financial clout, is set to deliver more money for the International Rugby Board at the 2015 edition, but the event is unlikely to have the same impact in a country where football dominates.

However, there were some thorny issues in New Zealand that not even resourceful organisers, confronted with moving matches away from earthquake-hit Christchurch, were able to solve.

The quarter-final line-up was all too predictable and made many wonder why the need for 48 matches.

Many of the emerging nations performed well in their opening pool fixtures but, significantly, none of them actually won.

And the general trend was for ever heavier defeats as the grossly unfair fixture schedule, which saw many 'minnows' facing four-day turnarounds while big teams usually had a week between games, took its toll.

However, the major teams did indicate they'd be prepared to play mid-week matches in 2015.

Samoa's Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu vented his frustration on Twitter, although comparing the team's plight to the Holocaust and apartheid rather overshadowed his basic point.

Social networking of a different kind contributed to England's poor World Cup and led to an unwanted media feeding frenzy.

Coach Martin Johnson's policy of letting his players go out for a few drinks came under fire after centre Mike Tindall, recently married to Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter, was filmed in a bar with a 'mystery blonde'.

England could have played their way out of trouble but they were downed by France in the quarter-finals, and when Manu Tuilagi then jumped off a ferry and into Auckland Harbour it summed up a campaign that had well and truly sunk.

But France, maddeningly inconsistent under coach Marc Lievremont and superb captain Thierry Dusautoir, recovered from pool defeats by both New Zealand and Tonga to come within a score of what would have been the greatest World Cup upset of them all.

Ireland beat Australia to split the knockout stages into northern and southern hemisphere halves, but they were then overwhelmed by Wales, whose attractive play could not disguise the fact that they lost three times.

Argentina scored two of this World Cup's best tries including one against the All Blacks that gave them an improbable quarter-final lead, as they did enough to suggest they will be a welcome addition to the new Four Nations.

Defending champions South Africa did not have enough guile and precision to see off a gutsy Australia in a quarter-final where officiating at the breakdown again proved a contentious issue.

Whatever your view of New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence's laissez-faire approach, the Internet abuse he and several other officials received was an unwelcome aspect of the tournament.

But despite everything, including a raft of injuries and a threat by their chief executive to boycott the next World Cup on financial grounds, the All Blacks carried off a triumph few would begrudge them, with McCaw summing up the mood after Sunday's final.

"The excitement and enthusiasm around this World Cup has been amazing and I guess we topped it off tonight, so there'll be some pretty happy Kiwis around I'm sure," he said.


  • Nzbro - 2011-10-24 10:26

    NZ win, on and off the pitch agree 100%. for a small country of 4,4mil people we done ourselves proud.Im sure many will return as visitors

      Alan - 2011-10-24 11:07

      @Johan. You seem like such a negative person with ALL of your comments. Are you doing this to try to justify why you moved to NZ? Sure the Kiwi's did themselves proud in hosting the RWC, so what are the negative comments about the Boks (aka the Protea's in your mind) all about? You missing home or something?

      Johan - 2011-10-24 11:13

      @Allan, ....not negative... .....only realistic... ....and have a good look, .......the Springbok was replaced with the Protes... ...can't you see...??

      Alan - 2011-10-24 11:17

      @Johan the Expat. Yip - the Bok emblem was replaced for this year, but they are still known as the Boks, (even by the Govt). Proteas play cricket. That all aside - you point is whaaat??????

      henniee.coetzee1 - 2011-10-24 11:31

      Well done to NZ. Its been a long time coming. @johan - shamepies - couldn't hack it in South Africa, so you ran away huh? Now a big man on the internet. Wow. What a hero.

  • Theprodigy - 2011-10-24 10:53

    Headline is 100% accurate, NZ win off the the IRB board room

      Johan - 2011-10-24 11:07

      ....the Proteas lost because Bismarck and Hoougaard were not in thr start-15... ....blame PDV.... ......and stop crying.... ...... All Blacks = Champions...!!!

      sam.kaitawa - 2011-10-24 11:09

      Headline........theprod woke up from a nightmare as he cuddled Burger (cap B letter important) and as Bakkies mum prayed and prayed the writing was on the wall...........Karma is unsanctioned, yet the sweet smell of gold smells, well, GOLD

      Alan - 2011-10-24 11:15

      Oh dear - I see Sam's mind is still a little muddled after his night at Woolies.

  • Nicholas - 2011-10-24 11:06

    All blacks didn't win - the French did!!! All blacks just got one more lucky point! Can't call ab's play a win as they were outplayed in every area except tackling in desparation. Well done France for showing the world that there are better teams! OH NO we have to put up with chirping kiwis for the next four years trying to convince us that they are the best!

      Nzbro - 2011-10-24 11:35

      Nicholas consider this for a moment: When carter got injured everyone wrote off the All Blacks claiming a choke in the making. Carter was a major player thats out of the rwc, Enter slade and he gets injured, Enter cruden and he gets injured. our No 9 had to fall in as kicker which was not his job and then he falters in a final. Enter donald who was never the best kicker but he has composure and a good runner and could direct the match. Can you imagine the pressure on a team with so many No 10 leadership setbacks on the eve of a rwc final? 3 of the best No 10's out of 5 available out of the rwc. Can you now see the depth they had to dig as a team to remain composed against such odds and face a charging french team that sensed blood, add to that an expectant crowd of 4.4 million fans . Is it possible for such a team too still win a rwc final under that pressure? Not likely aye. and yet they did win it.How on earth was that possible I hear you ask? In comparison your bok team lost 1 important kicker frans steyn and that was your rwc over. If he was there to take that 45 mtr kick against Oz that morne missed who knows aye. How would you have coped with Morne steyn out too and maybe lambie added to equal our 3 No 10's out? So I believe the AB standard of play was exceptional under those trying circumstances and most weaker teams would have collapsed by half time.( we wont mention any team names at this point )

      Alan - 2011-10-24 11:56

      @Nzbro. I have to partly agree with you. With the current format of the RWC, the teams at the end of the tournament are likely to be walking crocks! For sure NZ would have nailed more points if Carter was in the side. With the final team that ran out onto the field, NZ were definately not at their best. To my mind - all the games that get played against the 'minnow' teams do nothing for the tournament except injure players. I think that only 2 minnow teams should end up qualifying to play in the RWC, and that there should only be 2 pools in the Cup. That way, each team will have less games, but play good opposition. Regarding yesterday - I thought France were better (only on the day though), and it probably would have been unjust for an inconsistent team like France to have won. Overall, the AB's are the best team based on IRB standings. yesterday, I thought that both teams played fantastic rugby (kicking aside), and they made a great final. Nobody can call the AB's undeserved winners even though they may have had some luck on their side. Sometimes the shoe is on the other foot, and they have been at the wrong end of it. But I am prettty amazed at the arrogance of SOME of the Kiwi supporters - it's only a Trophy and Title that 30 men won for a country, not a World War.!! It's hard to like some Kiwi's the way they are carrying on. Anyway - congrats, the AB's are indeed a top class outfit.

      Nzbro - 2011-10-24 12:41

      Alan Thats a fair comment . France certainly came out firing from all guns as one would have expected from an unpredictable team that was being taunted by the media as useless. They had a lot to prove and they did.The AB did not expect a easy win because of the history between these sides so they held on and they too proved that they CAN win without carter contrary to the critics comments and expectations. In defence of the kiwis arroganceI must explain that most kiwis in general are humble non hostile people (LOL) until they discover this news24 site and experience the anger, the insults , personal attacks and hateful derogatory comments that triggers a response that is out of kiwi character. I am guilty of such knee jerk responses to insults that just begged to be answered in like manner and had to control the content of my response for fear of stooping down to the same shallow level as the attacker. It would be nice to have a decent debate without personal attacks but it takes all kinds to make this world and we must all learn tolerance I suppose which is a challenge at the best of times. Thnx for the well wishes.There are many kiwis with happier thoughts today than of the disasters we've had recently in addition to the stress of a rwc on home soil.

      Alan - 2011-10-24 13:09

      @NZBRO - yes - thanks. I am not meaning to tar all Kiwi's with the same brush - we have our fair share of arrogant chops in SA as well. For sure - the Kiwis and Aussies that I have met, are nice and pretty humble people. The type of negative comments on these sites are from a really small minority. And yeah - we know - it's pretty sdpecial to win a RWC in your own country, and NZ have had a tough time following the quakes, so I hope the win news lifts your nation.

      Theprodigy - 2011-10-24 13:10

      @ Nzbro, hostility towards Nzers is not just on this site, on many other in many other countries, so you are talking rubbish, educate yourself read the comments on this

      Alan - 2011-10-24 13:19

      oops - I meant '....the win lifts your nation'

      Nzbro - 2011-10-24 22:13

      Theprodigy you really need to find another activity to keep you busy.This internet is not good for your character. Try surfing or sailing mate. All your comments everywhere are bitter & negative dripping with such malice it invokes a concern for your inner well being. Its said that "what lives in the heart comes out through the mouth" Your heart is filled with such deep seated malicious anger issues that it is just begging for psychological intervention. You are going to end up hurting some one if you don't eliminate /dispose of that anger in an appropriate manner. I hope there is no one close by that can get hurt while you are filled with such rage. Please do consider psychological intervention and then we can chat in a calm & reasonable manner like grown men..

      Jaguar1909 - 2011-10-24 22:57

      The All Blacks won, end of story. Many teams such as the French and English have won games without ever having scored a try, against teams that have crossed the goal line.. I guess that's fair to you from your distorted and bitter viewpoint. The All Blacks won all their games, unlike the French that, lucky for them, having lost two pool games were still in the final because of how the pools were slanted to ensure a Northern Hemisphere team in the finals. The All Blacks are winners unlike you I suspect.

  • Gordon - 2011-10-24 11:07

    well done NZ, well done AB's, you guys deserve this, enjoy you moment of glory, you are the best rugby nation in the world by far. Congratulations once again!!!!!!!!!

      Alan - 2011-10-24 11:12

      As much as I dislike McCheat, I will agree that overall the AB's are the best rugby nation in the world at present. I however base that on the IRB standings more than on the WC. I only dislike thge AB's becuase of McCheat, just as I dislike other players who 'bend' the rules and get away with it. But that aside, the AB's and the Aussies and Boks have my respect, as do France after yesterday's display.

  • Philip - 2011-10-24 11:09

    Just like the IRB and Paddy O'Brien ordered!

      Dmitri - 2011-10-24 17:07

      Philip, you will always remain a moaner and a loser. Get over yourself.

  • Bootman - 2011-10-24 11:16

    One major disappointment for me was that Ritchie McCaw didnt even thank there die-hard supporters in Cape Town. They too bought flags and AB jumpers and crowded fan parks screaming "Nog All Blackth" Not even one word of thanks. Shame on you Ritchie......

      Felix - 2011-10-24 11:33

      Why would he care about the fans in Cape Town? As far as he's concerned, EVERYONE in SA supports the Boks. You think they only have fans in NZ and CT? Did he thank any of the other die-hard fans around the world? If you want recognition, go live in New Zealand.

      Nzbro - 2011-10-24 11:59

      Bootman richie acknowledged all AB fans near and far united by the love for the All Black jersey, Geography is irrelevant, love of the AB jersey is what joins us all. If I could I would send all our Saffa All Black suporters AB jerseys as a token of our acknowledgement of their support under bitter circumstances, I would do so without a blink of an eye. Ko Kapa o Pango e ngunguru nei! ( THIS DEFINES US AS THE ALL BLACKS ) What you should try is to accept & respect your differences. Nobody agrees 100% with one another but we can all live together despite our differences.

  • sam.kaitawa - 2011-10-24 11:17

    With an earnest heart, let's just pray that the Curry cup doesn't hog the headlines because let's face it, NZ are WORLD CHAMPIONS. What better than a South African website to question......4 more years

      Alan - 2011-10-24 11:20

      The Curry Cup?? hmmm

  • Grant - 2011-10-24 11:26

    "Whatever your view of New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence's laissez-faire approach, the Internet abuse he and several other officials received was an unwelcome aspect of the tournament." - you're f@#$ing kidding me, right? The refs make an abortion of the world cup, and the public response to it is the unwelcome part??? Who writes this cr@p!!??

      Phil - 2011-10-24 12:28

      No problem with public response ...but when that response involves abusing an ageing New Zealander simply because he carries the same name as Bryce Lawrence then that is beyond the pale.

  • Kevin - 2011-10-24 12:13

    Winners of the Bryce Ellis trophy

      Alan - 2011-10-24 12:17

      Haha! But it's time to move on :)

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2011-10-24 12:15

    I hope they enjoy there celebrations, but I was a bit shocked after the game. It was as if the people just came from watching an opera. Very self contempt and more unsure how to celebrate than going bananas. I can recall the way we went crazy. Maybe it was such a big moment for them that it 1st had to sink in or maybe the TV did not reflect the full happening. Maybe we are just to different and I do not understand there ways. Well, I hope you all NZlanders enjoy and celebrate till you O yes, you must send a representative to Cape Town. Your supporters, here, are glad on the win, but it is as if they are now confused and do not know what to do next. ( I think they would have been happier with a bigger score difference) Again. Congratulations and enjoy!!!!! See you in 4 years time.

  • Dianne - 2011-10-24 13:31

    So glad the AB's finally did win. From what I heard, the nation were going to commit collective suicide if they hadn't. Would've been very messy ... :)

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