THE TOUR­NA­MENT OR­A­CLE

FIVE REA­SONS WHY THE ALL BLACKS WILL WIN RWC

NZ Rugby World Tournament Guide - - CON­TENTS -

Who to watch, why the All Blacks will win, why they won’t win and a heap of other ques­tions you will never ask.

MEN­TAL STRENGTH

It used to be that if you scooped out all the men­tal re­solve within the All Blacks there’d be enough to fill a small egg cup. Not now. World Cups are all about pres­sure – han­dling it, that is – and this is what the All Blacks have be­come mas­ters at. Lord Richie of McCaw is ice cool and is the sort of bloke who could be locked in a prison cell and be told he has to watch Paul Henry 24 hours a day, only to say “He’ll die be­fore I do.”

TRIPLE THREAT

We know what the Spring­boks are go­ing to do. They will re­vert to set-piece au­thor­ity and kick and chase. Eng­land...much the same. Ire­land won’t take a sin­gle risk ei­ther and will try to live off mis­takes and Aus­tralia will take the game any­where other than the for­wards. But the All Blacks are not so easy to pin down in terms of style and that’s be­cause they have built what they call a triple threat where they can pass, run or kick. That’s the big dif­fer­ence be­tween them and ev­ery other team – the All Blacks can adapt to suit all weather and all op­po­nents.

MO­TI­VA­TION

This is the end of the road for Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu and Con­rad Smith. It is al­most cer­tainly the end, too, for McCaw, Keven Mealamu and Tony Wood­cock. There’s 600 test caps in that group and all of them rate as spe­cial play­ers who need a spe­cial way to fin­ish. The All Blacks have made it their stated goal to be the most dom­i­nant side in his­tory and hav­ing gone a long way down the road of prov­ing they are, they will want to fin­ish the job.

BA­SIC SKILLS

Thou­sands of ideas will be aired about what will set the win­ning team apart at the World Cup. Blah, blah this and blah, blah that be­cause most of it will be air heads spout­ing rub­bish. The bot­tom line is this – the dif­fer­ence be­tween the All Blacks and ev­ery­one else is that they can do the ba­sics un­der pres­sure. That’s it. No magic for­mula. Pass and catch will win the day.

AURA

Pe­ri­od­i­cally some­one, un­der plenty of pres­sure, will pipe up with the claim that the All Blacks have lost their aura. When they say it, it’s never be­cause they ac­tu­ally be­lieve it it’s be­cause they want to be­lieve it. The truth is most teams take the field al­ready cer­tain they can’t beat the All Blacks. Ask them all to­day who they think will win and 99 per cent will say the All Blacks. Think it, be­lieve it, watch it hap­pen.

There are 20 teams at the World Cup which seems like far too many to ac­tu­ally prop­erly an­a­lyse. So in time hon­oured fash­ion, we have de­cided to make some smart ass, half-baked ob­ser­va­tions that are light on knowl­edge and in­sight and an ab­so­lute tri­umph for style over sub­stance.

MEN­TAL STRENGTH

It used to be that if you scooped out all the men­tal re­solve within the All Blacks there’d be enough to fill a small egg cup. Not now. World Cups are all about pres­sure – han­dling it, that is – and this is what the All Blacks have be­come mas­ters at. Lord Richie of McCaw is ice cool and is the sort of bloke who could be locked in a prison cell and be told he has to watch Paul Henry 24 hours a day, only to say “He’ll die be­fore I do.”

TRIPLE THREAT

We know what the Spring­boks are go­ing to do. They will re­vert to set-piece au­thor­ity and kick and chase. Eng­land...much the same. Ire­land won’t take a sin­gle risk ei­ther and will try to live off mis­takes and Aus­tralia will take the game any­where other than the for­wards. But the All Blacks are not so easy to pin down in terms of style and that’s be­cause they have built what they call a triple threat where they can pass, run or kick. That’s the big dif­fer­ence be­tween them and ev­ery other team – the All Blacks can adapt to suit all weather and all op­po­nents.

MO­TI­VA­TION

This is the end of the road for Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu and Con­rad Smith. It is al­most cer­tainly the end, too, for McCaw, Keven Mealamu and Tony Wood­cock. There’s 600 test caps in that group and all of them rate as spe­cial play­ers who need a spe­cial way to fin­ish. The All Blacks have made it their stated goal to be the most dom­i­nant side in his­tory and hav­ing gone a long way down the road of prov­ing they are, they will want to fin­ish the job.

BA­SIC SKILLS

Thou­sands of ideas will be aired about what will set the win­ning team apart at the World Cup. Blah, blah this and blah, blah that be­cause most of it will be air heads spout­ing rub­bish. The bot­tom line is this – the dif­fer­ence be­tween the All Blacks and ev­ery­one else is that they can do the ba­sics un­der pres­sure. That’s it. No magic for­mula. Pass and catch will win the day.

AURA

Pe­ri­od­i­cally some­one, un­der plenty of pres­sure, will pipe up with the claim that the All Blacks have lost their aura. When they say it, it’s never be­cause they ac­tu­ally be­lieve it it’s be­cause they want to be­lieve it. The truth is most teams take the field al­ready cer­tain they can’t beat the All Blacks. Ask them all to­day who they think will win and 99 per cent will say the All Blacks. Think it, be­lieve it, watch it hap­pen.

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