The Entire tournament created a lot of disappointments for a lot of people all around the world. My team’s performance won the award of worst team in this world cup and the worst ever performance by a national team in our history. So once such a situation occurs that the team we cheer for gets knocked out in pool plays, we always have that second favorite team that we look forward to making it to the ultimate win. All Blacks.
Well it sure did feel good when they were awarded that penalty in the dying minute and everyone knew what was going to happen. But when we take a second look at the entire tournament, It doesn’t feel like the mighty All Blacks deserved the win. I am sure that the Die Hard Fans will murmur a beautiful slur at the last sentence directed to me. Be calm though, your team won anyway. I later realized that my feelings regarding this world cup and the performance of the New Zealand team was mutual among a lot of Fans.
New Zealand was placed in one of the easiest of pools in the tournament and sure enough they came out victors. The pool of death provided three of the best games of the tournament that could very well have seemed liked the final in itself. The South Africa (17) vs (16) Wales , South Africa (13) vs (5) Samoa and the Wales (17) against (10) Samoa. The intensity with which Samoa played against the Springboks proved a far better performance than the All Blacks showed in the knockout games.
The All blacks much anticipated attacking games were hardly seen. Even the Tony Woodcock Try in the 15th minute was the result of a quick throw in before that french could get back and form their defense line.
I know that those are the opportunities that a good offensive team can create and make the best of by just what they did. My argument here is that on a one on one situation the defense of the the french proved far more resilient. One can argue that the french try was more or less the same and i totally agree with that.
The statistics falls very much so in favor of the All Blacks with the number of international matches they play. They managed to make the most number of tries in the tournament, ( mostly against the weaker opponents in the pool games). The only unbeaten team in the tournament, ( Most will agree that the match against Australia was the first real test rugby for the All Blacks and that came at the Semi Final stage). By this time most of the teams had played more rugby than the New Zealand team.
France also had a stroke of luck with them coming against Wales in the Semi’s and they sure must have thanked the ref for making them play against 14 Welshman. Had it been 15 Welshman, the rooster’s might have had gone home without any glory.
And what if it was Wales in the Final Instead of the Roosters? With their form and the quality of their performance in the tournament and the reminder of the dreadful exit from the last world cup could have caused a lot more broken hearts in Auckland.
What if’s Aside, the congrats goes to The All Black’s, Hats off to the French and so long until the next world cup!