Well we all have an opinion – don’t we? We are famous as a nation that is very caught up in rugby. We keenly await the world cup with heightened anxiety having not won the tournament since 1987.
So just like the other 4 million New Zealanders I thought I would wade into the debate – will we win or wont we?!
......We will win.
That’s what I think. Why?
Home town advantage has to count. Fortress Eden Park and all that. Last Saturday night we watched an emotion charged Australian team lift them-selves several % to beat the all Blacks at a hostile Suncorp Stadium. Mongrel and emotion will be higher for Kiwis playing in NZ than overseas. That counts for something!
Experience. My own personal experiences in rowing were many years of learning, making mistakes and losing before I got the confidence and experience to win consistently. The core All Black coaching team and Player group have stayed together after the last world cup loss and they will be better and stronger for it. When the going gets tough....they have been there before.
Karma. What goes around .....and we are the good guys, right? Many of our players could have cleared out overseas for greater $ but they stayed cause it means more to play for NZ and to win. My strong feeling on sport is that $ are completely irrelevant. We should all compete for the same reasons our previous generation did 50 years ago – pride, honour, pure motivation first and then success evolves from that. I believe ultimate sporting success has everything to do with Passion and 0 to do with financial incentive. This team oozes good culture.
McCaw - A great leader and role model – he sets the whole team Culture. I like him a lot – who doesn’t? My 6 year old wants to be like Richie Mc Caw and I am happy with that. Good solid farming family from the south Island, exceptional athlete, amazing consistency in his game, humble to boot, speaks well and intelligently....you get the picture – Oh and he turned down the royal wedding invite. That’s an athlete with his head focused on one thing and nothing else. That’s how I felt in my best campaigns - only one thing mattered.
We have a very good team. Very good players who are now experienced and they at their best they play better as a team than any other team in recent years.
Mentally prepared. They have had a couple of losses now and will go into the Cup very awake. I honestly believe that is the perfect frame of mind. When you win all the time, you sometimes forget the worst case scenarios. When I was rowing, I always liked to have my hardest possible session 1 week from the big day so that you went in frightened how much it would hurt vs being complacent and getting a nasty reminder half way through the race.
Over all I think we are in good shape. No doubt it will be tough and I trust that they are mentally preparing for having to come from behind to win the semis and then the finals.
One thing is for sure – I won’t abstain my support. I’ll be rooting for them.....