Rugby World Cup 23 October 2011

Only one topic today. Our first Final in 16 years.

A few months ago most of us were braced for disappointment. We had been through this before. The All Blacks peaked too early or choked or something, and we lost.

But then as the pool play got underway, our optimism has risen and risen. We won all four games convincingly, scoring 240 points and conceding just 49. We picked up a bonus point for every game, meaning we scored at least four tries.

In our pool France barely qualified. If Tonga had beaten Canada, France would have not made the quarter-finals.

England was the only unbeaten team in Pool B, but lost at the quarter-finals, as did Argentina.

Amazingly in Pool C, Australia finished second behind Ireland. That gave us hope for the semi-final.

Pool D has the Springboks win all their games, but they held Wales off by one 1 point. They were arguably our biggest threat, but then they got knocked out by Australia despite playing the stronger game. I think it was at this point that things were really looking good. We were confident we had Australia’s measure, and sure enough they couldn’t score a try against New Zealand in 80 minutes.

So today is the day, starting at 9 pm, where we’ve got the best chance since we won the inaugural trophy to regain the title World Champions. Of course the result is far from guaranteed. France can play amazingly effective rugby when they hit top form. They have twice before beaten us at Rugby World Cups. But tonight, it should be the All Blacks’ day.

What are your picks for the score or margin? I’m saying the All Blacks by 13.

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