A word to the wise, if you miss a live game, don't go on social media. It happened to me twice and I robbed myself of the excitement that goes with not knowing the score of a game you want to watch. I managed to make it to half time of the Aus vs Arg game before forgetting my initial convictions and happened upon a "hardluck Argentina" status on facebook, ruining yet another replay.
There is a lot of build up to this world cup final and has seen the ABs under a bit of fire. Although most of this speculation was pre-knockouts, there are plenty who criticise the All Blacks' form and subsequently our ability to put away teams of inferior prowess. Instead of just enjoying the performance of lower ranked teams and trusting the process of a team and coaching staff that should have proven themselves via a pretty successful campaign to date. Although the current All Black side have shown chinks in the armor in previous high pressure situations at world tournaments (mostly against our Bogey team (France)), our conviction in putting them away in the quarters and besting a strong Springbok side in the semis has earned my support and confidence at least, if not the wider kiwi community.
From a media point of view, I suppose supporting and rolling with the grain may not get as much readers as a strong disagreement with an otherwise mainstream standpoint. At any rate the ABs are hearty. Savea has found his form once again contributing to a solid outside three. I'm also loving Ben Smith's takes on those up and unders. Ngati Porou's Milner-Skudder got a nomination for breakthrough player of the year too with a strong campaign in today's international Prem 1 rugby scene.
This final has come around quite quickly and it's great to face our neighboring rivals for the first time in a world cup final. They defeated Argentina in a pretty sloppy game at least in the first 20 minutes. Argentina arguably didn't bring their A game but on the other hand the All blacks defeated a defensive menace in the strong Boks. Bring on a mean Final. I have faith that the boys are going to show us the height of their training since it all comes down to this. Australia do have the capacity to be an annoyingly strong side in certain situations but they do crack at times and haven't shown much conviction in this tournament. I'm picking the ABs 13+