Team USA Eagle 7s Captain Matthew “Polar Bear” Hawkins, despite being a husband & daddy and coaching SDSU, takes the Thursday slot on RWU.
SAN DIEGO, CA – And so the time has finally arrived. It is nearly time for the 3rd and 4th play off between Australia and Wales at the Rugby World Cup and a couple days before the sport reaches its climax, as New Zealand face off against France.
Well, for all the talk of the different teams that could make up this climax, I would find it hard to believe how many people outside of France would have said that Les Bleus would be taking front and center. For the host nation, much was expected and for now it has been delivered. They have have waited for this day as a team and as a country for a while. So before we delve in to the specifics of this game, lets look back.
France and New Zealand have met in the World Cup on three other occasions. The first of which was the inaugural event Back in 1987 in the Final. New Zealand found themselves convincing winners on that day, 29 – 9. The next meeting took place at the 1999 World Cup where the teams met in the semi-finals and France walked away victors after a remarkable come back to see them win it 43-31. The next meeting was a 3rd and 4th play off game at the 2003 Rugby World Cup which New Zealand again ran away with the result, 40 – 13. The last meeting these two nations had was at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in the quarter finals and that game was very tightly contested, but when the final whistle blew, again France found themselves ahead 20 – 18.
In summing up, its two apiece and if you work based off of Rugby World Cup History, it is New Zealand’s turn to take home the spoils. Based on performance at the Rugby world cup, the fact that it is at home and that France has been a media nightmare, all the signs point to New Zealand reclaiming the William Webb-Ellis Trophy after a 24 year wait. I don’t believe they will choke this time. They have just been playing with such great confidence, it is hard to see them falter now. That being said it is a Rugby World Cup Final and there will be nerves.
This could be one of the games that goes down in the history books for more than one reason. Please leave your thought below and be certain to tune in for Fridays With Phaidra – a great Eagle – tomorrow.