It is 10 years since the All Blacks were dumped out of the 2007 World Cup. That horrible night has led to great things for the game in New Zealand.
IT WAS 10 YEARS AGO THAT THE ALL BLACKS WERE DUMPED OUT OF THE WORLD CUP QUARTERFINAL BY FRANCE. THE DECISION TO RETAIN THE COACHING STAFF AFTER THAT FAILURE HAS PROVEN TO BE ONE OF THE BEST NEW ZEALAND RUGBY HAS MADE.
There were many enduring images from the fateful night of October 6, 2007. None summed up the despair, shock and near heartbreak of the evening better than a drained and almost gaunt-looking Richie McCaw facing the media.
There was the look of sheer panic on the faces of a handful of the non-playing squad such as Aaron Mauger and Doug Howlett who were watching on powerless to intervene.
Or what about the way so many All Blacks collapsed to their knees when the final whistle was blown in Cardiff and the enormity of what had just happened sank in.
Memories of that night when the All Blacks lost 20-18 in the World Cup quarterfinal to France remain vivid. It was the darkest hour in All Blacks’ World Cup history.
This was a defeat like no other – a humiliating, crushing blow that no one saw coming. The All Blacks had arrived at that tournament as deserved and genuine favourites.
They had barely lost since 2005 and at the tail end of 2006 they wiped the floor with England, France and Wales having done much the same against South Africa and Australia earlier in the year.
AFTER CARDIFF I HAD QUESTIONED MYSELF. WAS I THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB? THAT’S NATURAL I SUPPOSE. THERE WERE DEFINITELY TIMES I THOUGHT REALLY HARD ABOUT IT.’ RICHIE McCAW
COLOUR DRAIN Richie McCaw was shell-shocked after the loss to France.