I was watching the event on tv. The atmosphere was huge! Even I was getting nervous just watching the crowd build! The crowd roared before and throughout the game. The game was about to begin. The two teams were about to jogg onto the field. They came onto the field and sang their national anthems (I stood up and sang it too!). The All Blacks performed their fearsome haka and the match was about to begin.
France came out flying quickly getting the ball into their possession. Surprisingly the French were not kicking the ball away as they normally did in their recent games. Instead they were using the ball spreading it quickly around the park trying to counter the might of the All Blacks defence. France were on the front foot in the first 20 minutes, dominating the set pieces with strong scrums and decisive line outs.
The All Blacks needed to establish themselves as the dominate team in this game. So they capitalized on a chance close to the Frech try line with a beautiful set piece move ending up with the prop Tony Woodcock cashing in for the first points. This was a big kick coming up, Weepu was given several chances to take the lead for the All Blacks but was denied both times. This kick would give the All Blacks a bit of breathing space but unfortunately Piri Weepu failed to convert. They went to halftime with the lead being 5-0.
The All Blacks were struck with yet another injury to young gun Aaron Cruden forcing Stephen Donald to come on and make his debut in the World Cup! Fortunately Donald stepped up to the challenge and converted what would be the winning penalty! I was ready to faint in the dying minutes of the game with the clock ticking and the French behind by 1 but having the ball inside the All Blacks half. I nervously watched on as the clock ticked....... YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The All Blacks were given a penalty, all they needed to do was win the line and hold onto the ball. YEEEEAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! THE PLAGUE IS FINALLY OVER!!!!!! 24 YEARS OF WAITING HAVE FINALLY COME TO AN END!!!!!!!!!