'Twas the night of the final
We all remember that glorious night in October 2011. One year on, and it is still just as sweet.
I hope you enjoy this recap and in the spirit of the season...
'Twas the night of the final
'Twas the night of the final and all through the lands
Kiwis prepared for one last stand.
They gathered with their loved ones, hoping history would repeat,
But to reach the heights of '87 would be no easy feat.
Six weeks prior, among hype and anticipation,
The cup opened in style with a big celebration.
Lomu got it started, there were fireworks and then,
The All Blacks played Tonga, winning 41-10.
Eight days later they took on Japan.
The blossoms' gutsy performance won them many a fan.
Slade got his first crack and was keen to impress.
83-7 and he'd passed his first test.
And then for the grudge match, France and NZ.
It was time to put the ghosts of the past to bed.
Dagg was on fire, he was close to his best.
It was a 20-point win in Richie's hundredth test.
But in all epic tales, true heroes stand tall,
When adversity comes and comrades fall.
Our worst fears were realised when we woke up to see
For the rest of the tournament we'd be without DC.
But the show must go on and in Slade we did trust.
Canada was next and belief was a must.
Guildford shined - four tries he scored,
And team confidence was undoubtedly restored.
On to the quarters, where demons did wait.
Could this year's team avoid the '07 fate?
Argentina showed courage and were determined to win
And when Slade went down, panic almost set in.
But a kid named Cruden ran on with confidence to burn.
And with no expectations, made the most of his turn.
Piri stepped up, his seven goals sent them through,
And Mils became a successful centurion too.
The semi-final game brought a familiar foe
And shadowed the game from eight years ago.
Cruden was firing and Nonu scored a blinder.
The All Blacks sent the world a well-timed reminder.
They would not be beaten, not on their home ground.
It was their best game of the cup, not a fault could be found.
An old-fashioned victory without flashy tricks
Saw the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 20 to 6.
Only two teams remained, the All Blacks and le Coqs.
Who knew what they would pull out of the box?
The Kapa O Pango faced a French flying V.
Eighty minutes lay between the team and destiny.
It was a nervous start by the men in black,
While the French surprisingly went wide in attack.
But defence held strong, neither team would concede
Until Woodcock finished Hansen's play and put them in the lead.
The All Blacks began to dominate but couldn't add to their score.
Piri was off his game (his hamstring was sore).
It was clear that France were here to play.
The All Blacks would not have it all their own way.
Then lightning struck thrice and what did we see?
Little kid Cruden went down holding his knee.
A quick chat with Richie and we knew what was in store.
We'd have to win the cup with flyhalf number four.
On strode Beaver in a shirt that was tight.
No one foresaw him playing this night.
Two weeks ago he'd been out on the river
And his blunders of old made New Zealand quiver.
But Donald wasn't worried- he knew what to do.
Without the shadow of DC he kicked it straight through.
Eight points up with 30 minutes to go
Then Piri kick-passes... INTERCEPT OH NO!!
The French had momentum as time ticked away.
They were in the All Blacks half and needed one big play.
But the All Blacks' belief was strong, their defence stood tall.
Then Richie pounced - yes! Our ball.
Three minutes of control by the mighty ABs
Capped off by Thorn who won the lineout with ease.
A siren, a penalty, and it was theirs for the taking.
They'd realised the dream 24 years in the making.
Henry was beaming - overjoyed and relieved
That he could "rest in peace" since the goal was achieved.
The crowd erupted in elation and tears.
They were world cup champions for at least four years.
View all contributions