All Blacks - Mental Block?
April 9, 2008 1:05pm CST
New Zealand has produced some of the finest players to ever grace a rugby pitch, yet they fail consistently on the biggest stage. 2007 the All Blacks conquered all before them and armed with the best number 10 in the world steam rollered their way through the world cup group stages. But yet again when the pressure was put on they crumbled and lost to an average French side. 2003 they went out to the Wallabies and then in 1999 the French curse struck again. How can a team so talented regularly fail. The only answer I can come up with is a mental weakness. What are your thoughts?
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 08
I think they underestimated the French side and the French had nothing to lose so played with everything they had. I'm wondering whether having a easy pool made it too comfortable for them and when it came to crunch time, they couldn't deliver. The referee made some questionable calls too but you can't blame it all on him. In the end, it's the responsibility of the players and the coaches to ensure that each team player is mentally strong to overcome or withstand pressure, and it clearly shows we lack in that area. I still love the AB's though :)
20 Apr 08
I think the French are one of the biggest shockers in the World Sport. In 1999 and 2007 nobody thought they could beat the All Blacks and somehow, on the day of the match, they pulled of the miracle. Then again, they did the same in the Soccer World Cup in 1998 and in 2006 when they beat a much stronger Brazillian side. The French are like dark horses. OK, let's leave the French aside. It's strange that the All Blacks seem so powerful before every Rugby World Cup but have yet to win it again since 1987, when they played on home ground. I think one of the causes is the fact that the rest of the world has caught up in terms of the standard of rugby, which is a good thing because it will make NZ even better. But I think it's a case of managing expectations and somehow letting the side relax enough to win when it matters.
22 Apr 08
I think they hadn't played enough crucnh games to know what to do in that situation. They didn't have anybody ready to drop a goal to win the game ugly if they needed to to! Bu these things happen in sport. That's what makes it interesting. Even the AB's can't win every game. I just wish they would manage not to lost in the WC!