I'm a writer blogger who has been resident in the Hutt Valley since the late 1960's. I'm a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I have seen many people come and go over the years, seen many things good and bad. Time to remember life...
DW (photo): Roman.b / Wikimedia Creative Commons
Webb Ellis Cup
Bill Comes home again!
New Zealand's All Blacks, No1 in the world rankings beat No 2 Australia's Wallabies, in the final of the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham, London on the weekend. It has been described as one of the great finals at one of the best ever RWC tournaments.
New Zealand became the first national side to win back-to-back cups, and the first to win three cups in history. It was also its first win off-shore, the previous cups being at home in the inaugural cup in 1987 and four years ago in 2011. The All Blacks finally got rid of the monkey on its back, France, by annihilating them in the quarter-finals. They have found their field of dreams, once again.
Congratulations to head coach Steve Hansen for his continuing success with the mighty All Blacks. A very smart coach, planner, developer and intelligent man. He may continue with the All Blacks for another two years to ensure there is a succession plan in place to further develop the team and send it on its journey towards the next Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019. And, perhaps finish his career against the next Lions tour in 2017.
The great No10 Dan Carter who played such a major role in the final with 19 pts, kicked three penalties, two conversions and a drop goal (his second in a fortnight).
Coach Michael Cheika is to be congratulated for developing a Wallabies side that had been described as a bit of a mess a year ago, into the second ranked team in the world, and Rugby World Cup runners-up. Well done Wallabies.
With the tournament over, and all the official functions finished, it has been time for the farewells to the retiring greats, led by the legendary skipper, Richie McCaw with 148 caps; Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Keven Mealamu, and the injured Tony Woodcott who couldn't play in the finals. Good luck in all your tomorrows!
There is a little icing on the cake with Dan Carter being awarded International Player of the Year for the third time.
Most of the All Blacks squad are due home midweek, with homecoming welcomes already in the pipeline, perhaps more parades through the main centres.
In closing, there have not yet been any conclusive decisions announced about the future of Richie McCaw. An ambassador at the next Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019? In the meantime some quiet flights in his glider around the central South Island, perhaps? Good luck Richie.