*** Joel L. (also known as Mary's dad) wrote ***:
I’m 50 and I’m French, and since my childhood I’ve always loved rugby. Four years ago, with my wife and my daughter, we went to Australia to follow the 3 first pool matches of our national team ; but this year, I had decided to follow the All Blacks for the whole pool session. I also have tickets for the semi final next Saturday and I really wanted to see you guys playing next Saturday…
But there it is : France lost to Argentina in the opening match and thus faced you in Cardiff… Like many people, I wanted this match to be the final!
Honestly, I’m at 100% with you, supporting your sorrow. And I hope I’ll live long enough to be part of the next world cup, your world cup, in Aotearoa…
Once again : THANK YOU!
*** Lothi from Spain wrote ***:
I'm a Richie McCaw Girl or "Chica Richie McCaw" here in Spain. I know I'm not the only one New Zealand supporter here, but we live in a country that doesnt have a strong rugby tradition. To be true, I wasn't interested in rugby at all till I watch the All Blacks play.
Now I'm quite obsessed - in a healthy, sane but very "fan" way, lol- and Richie McCaw, Ali Williams and Nick Evans (my favourite players) have a lot to do with that. They can make a girl interested, and not only because they are hunks. Nope. They have talent, nerve and will.
They deserved to win. I still feel very numb myself, but I can figure how bad, sad and such they are feeling right now. But, as MaryL said, no matter what the "real press" will say about you, we still love you. A lot. And to our favourite Captain, we love you even more because you are a really *great* captain for a really *great* team.
Desde España en montón besos y abrazos para los All Blacks y, sobre todo, para Richie McCaw
From Spain, a bunch of kisses and hugs for the All Blacks and specially for Richie McCaw
*** Solange I. From France wrote ***:
I am a French girl but I'm sorry of All black's defeat.
I'm so sad for Richie McCaw captain and for others all blacks. I would like to support them. For me, they are the best team of the world and their game is wonderful !
It's hard to see them so disappointed but I will contine to cheer the team.
Bisous to them and Bisous to You
*** Rose W. from the USA wrote ***:
To Richie & the boys,
Now we support you, more than ever. You have given us a magnificent run of rugby over the last year. BE PROUD of your many achievements. Rugby is a game that is played by human beings and the referee is human, too. Therefore, any single game of rugby is subject to the mistakes of humans. That is why I do not believe that the winner of the RWC is necessarily the best rugby team in the world. We know this is true, because the All Blacks are the best rugby team in the world -- year in and year out.
Every All Black gave his best. That is all that anyone can ask. You took the penalties like professionals, even though you did not agree. It is simply that the rugby gods did not smile on you this day.
Oh yes, you cried, or wanted to. Which just shows that you are a decent bunch of blokes, if there ever was one. Go ahead and cry. I did and so did many of your supporters. However, tomorrow is a new day. Some of you will go to your new teams in Europe. Some of you will go home and return to the NPC to play. But the next big thing on the agenda is 2011. You must go forward, as hosts, to make RWC 2011 in New Zealand the best ever.
You STAND IN BLACK and we proudly STAND IN BLACK beside you!
*** Charlie from the U.K. wrote ***:
I cant believe all these 'so called' fans, they only supported the ab's during this word cup thinking that they were dead certs to win nd so they became a 'fan' but as soon as they loose a bloody tough match they start slating them! they're not bloody fans!
I always thought fans were there to support a team even during the hard times...these people get on my bloody nerves!!!
*** Marni B (and partner Richard) from Otago wrote ***:
I have been reading your blogs and your site for awhile.
I just thought I would send my best wishes to the All Blacks and especially to Ritchie Mccaw. My partner wanted me to e-mail this as a thank you for the boys playing so well and giving everything they had for the love of the game.
As the All Blacks are coming home to New Zealand this week. I am sure their WAGS will be there to pick up the pieces and help them train for the next crack at the HOLY GRAIL.
As Ritchie and Mr Henry said - We were the second team on the day.
Most people call me ICE.
*** Jasmin from Switzerland wrote ***:
I just hope that the guys (inkl. the captain and Graham Henry) don't get blamed too much from the press and the people in nz. In sport, winning has a lot to do with skill and determination but also with luck, and I think that's what many persons seem to forget. The All Blacks played well. But not well enough. And that's it. I'm not blaming the team or anybody involved in the game, I just think that luck was with the French team. Who know's, maybe luck is waiting for 2011 to show up...!?
*** Gaelen from South Africa wrote ***:
Hey Richie. You guys are still my heroes, especially you! It’s a shock and a horror but sh!te happens. You’re still awesome and most welcome in SA anytime!!!!
Monday October 8th.
*** Adeline V. from Paris, France wrote ***:
I just want to say you thank you for all your work in the RWC, you were really wonderfull and I have seen the rugby I love. I am french and I yet think you are the most amazing team of the world, I really wanted you to win the cup.
Don't blame the team, don't blame your coach (he did an excellent job the last years, and I'll miss him), maybe you can blame the referee, but maybe the french were just better this time...
I am really sorry for you, but I want you to know that you never disappointed your "fans" or your country.
Captain Richie, you deserved your award of the best player in 2006, and you were also the best for me in 2007. We are behind you, and I am sure you will win the world cup (YOUR world cup) in four years. Please stay in New Zeland, you are an All Black, stay in this team, I am sure that you'll win in 2011.
Don't be sad, you made a great job, you made a perfect year, you didn't deserved that, but we don't blame you and we still support you!
*** Regina from New Zealand wrote ***:
I don’t usually write about players, celebs etc but only this time I feel I need to. Please pass this on to the All Blacks.
Ritchie McCaw is the best All Black captain there is. He is humble, he plays for his team and he is a great leader, just like Sir Peter Blake. He is a real kiwi and I am very very proud of him, and the All Blacks.
Shit happens and they don’t deserve to lose but that does not take anything away from who they are and how he has led the All Blacks these last four years. They have won almost every game and they have won the hearts of all the people around the world.
One world tournament does not make a team. They may not be the World Champs this October but they have been World Champs the last four years, and will be for the next four years.
So chin up Ritchie. Let the French have their day (God knows they need it!). We want you for the World Cup 2011 and we will kick butts then.
You have our hearts and minds. We are with you all the way.
*** Chrizaan from South Africa wrote ***:
Richie you are a brilliant player, an excellent captain and you are a very brave person. You did your best and we still love you and the All blacks in South Africa. Keep your head high because you have nothing to feel ashamed about. Shit happens. This too shall pass.
Stay strong and if those New Zealanders give you shit remember you are always welcome in South Africa.
*** Violaine P. (and her mother) from France wrote ***:
I regularly connect myself to your blog because I am a fan of Richie’s: really great player, born leader and so cute. I would like to thank you for giving a chance to the fans to send a message to the guys.
What upsets me the most is the French press publishing papers on “the All Blacks are too confident” “they are too relax” “they don’t see this match as a tough one”…This is not what I felt nor what I saw. They were accused of showing themselves too much, of being entertainers –but thanks God they were here! They were the only team who showed some respect towards their fans and yet they remained humble! The players must know that their fans are behind them because they are proud of these men I do hope that their fans back home will be nice to them. The All Blacks remain the best team in the World, I say it again and again, no other team is able to reach skies as they do.
Saturday night was a nightmare for me! If I am French, I support New Zealanders because I have so much pleasure to see them play! I believed they win until the end of the match and I wanted them to win because they are the best players of the world. Whatever people think and whatever the abs themselves say, they did play well. They didn’t give up, they fought till the end and I really thought Luke’s drop goal would be in… Some of the ref’s decisions are unclear, but re-doing the match is not the aim of my message. Yes, one can be French, support the all blacks and not blushing after their performance on Saturday night, nor being ashamed of it…
So my message for the guys is the following: “Thanks guys, You are still the bests, the defeat is not your fault because you really play your maximum. Dan, Byron and Nick, I hope you’ll get well. And Richie: keep faith! You’re a great captain and one of the best players in the world, be sure of that”. I hope their return in New Zealand will not be too hard. Guys, thank you very much for all the pleasure you’ve given us –spectators! Be strong ; tomorrow is another day…
I send a lot of kisses to all the guys (my mother too, she loves the Blacks).
*** Sophia from France wrote ***:
I've been supporting you guys since 2001 and I will as long as I can :) I watched very good games of you and I'm proud to be one of your supporters!! I'm waiting now for a return match with France in 4 years I hope :D Your French supporters will be all there for you! You are the best ever in that sport and nothing will change that.
For now, congratulations to the team for these fabulous matches that you offered to us :) and I hope you enjoyed you trip in France in spite of everything :S You will always be welcome in France !! :)
Go the All Blacks !! ^^ See you soon ...[Hope you get well soon Dan]
*** Cédric from France wrote ***:
OK I'm happy because France won this match but I do really feel sad for the all blacks and for all the nation of New Zealand ! Once more New Zealand can be proud of their team, you are really the best. I hope for a final for the next world cup France/New Zealand and a victory for you (but as hard as possible!)
In any case please don't be sad, each time I see a match with the all black the big winner is RUGBY !!!
Keep in touch, au revoir !
*** Maud L. from France wrote ***
We were dreaming of a Final between France and New-Zealand.
We made black bracelets to always think of you.
We wrote the New-Zealander national Athem Lyrics in our agendas.
We couldn't think that New-Zealand can loose this World Cup.
But Saturday evening was a crash.
I remember the match, I was the only one who supported New-Zealand, even my sister threatened me "You're French ! you have to support France ! not New-Zealand !" ok, I'd support France...but when the French tried, I didn't feel as happy as the other supporters. When the 70th minute came, I really, really wanted you to try the last try of the match. But you didn't, all the supporters were screaming their joy whereas I was crying your loss. I spent the worst night I ever knew. All the pictures, Byron crying, You in Ali's arms, dejected Nick...its was terrible. But, bit by bit, I realized what was happening. I wasn't living a nightmare, you lost the match, ok, so what ? you'll still be the best team of the world, each team can loose a match, it's human ! you can't be the best everytime everywhere. People saw that the All Blacks were human after all, not just a physical strengh which always win its matches.
It's a sad situation, but you are human, we can't blame you. All the efforts you made for this World Cup will help you for the next one. In your country, with your fans, in your stadiums, the things will be totally different. I'm sure of it.
I know you will never give up and that's why I'm proud to support New Zealand.
Wednesday October 10th.
*** Floriane L. from France wrote ***
I suppose you have already received thousands support messages, but here is one more!
Of course I am quite disappointed, like everyone, that the All Blacks leave the competition, but Saturday's match was really... WOW! I almost die ("thank you"... :D) by a stroke! So even if you're eliminated, I want to say THANK YOU (this time I'm not joking :D) for giving us such emotion!!
I'm not worried for you, I'm sure you'll be the second All Blacks' captain who'll win the World Cup. And in four years, we'll be there, and in 8 years, we'll be there...
Hope you're all fine.
Flo (a French supporter. ok, I'm French, but I'm fair-play - I hope so! :D)
Friday, October 12th.
*** Caroline from Brittany, France, wrote ***
I know you will receive a lot of letter like this and mine is just one but I
wanted to congratulate you for your efforts and your course in the world cup
even if you don’t win. You had a good team and each one did hi best.
Moreover you are an excellent captain who knew to direct his players, and to
encourage them to be the best in the victory and the defeat
No matter that you go lost, you remain the best team in the world and nobody
will contradict it. I wish you to make a success of your next match, to make a good super14 and succeed in the tri nation. And for the world cup see you in 4 years! Your French fans will always support you ; kisses
*** Juju from France wrote ***:
I’m French and great fan of the All Blacks since…1987, the final against France, I was just a kid, too young to know the rules of this game, but my daddy told me ''c'est les meilleurs du monde"...Twenty years after, (I know the rules!...) All Blacks are still the best with their game so fast and magical.
Players turn but the spirit is the same. Even if you aren't world champion, you can be proud; you are faithful of the gallantry of the silver fern. French really appreciate your game and your behaviour for these few weeks in our country.
My personnal good memory? the training session in Toulouse after the game against Romania...It was great to see the best players in the world just play with a ball, like kids, thank you for this moment!
Next time (ok, it's long...) it will be your time, at home, like in 1987!!! Be sure!
To Richie McCaw and the All Blacks, current and future, continue to be "les meilleurs du monde".
*** Tessa from New Zealand wrote ***:
Great to have (most) of you back home. It is the end of an era for some of you; I wish you all the very best and every success with whatever the future holds.
Now is the time to get back some “normality” into your lives (is life as an All Black ever normal?) Enjoy the summer (it IS coming...honest!) and I look forward to seeing you all in action for 2008!
So much has been said about the events of…y’know…and it will seem like an eternity before those flashbacks stop replaying in your head. Then having to deal with stuff on a very personal level & of those closest to you. The constant reminders from what you see, hear & read WILL ease off over time. I know, it’s hard to avoid in this little rugby obsessed, everyone’s an expert, passionate nation of ours.
What will always remain is the unfailing pride and support we as AB’s fans have for the rugby world’s #1 team!
Keep showing us your desire to succeed & the pure enjoyment you have for the game.
We stand in Black with you always!!! Huge thanks for the personal sacrifice and bloody hard work guys!
Mac ( Richie)…Thanks for your loyalty & giving us another 2yrs to enjoy your exciting, on the edge, NO FEAR, style of play….long may it continue! Your leadership, personal integrity, core values& ideals of what it means to wear the black jersey mean you’ve already entered AB history as one of the greats. You’ve re-newed my interest in the game & ..o.k. being a girl means there are shallow reasons too but I won’t go there today!
Hope you get plenty of gliding in over the summer; bring on those thermals& infinite blue skies where you can “escape” above that majestic southern landscape! Take care and CHEERS!
Saturday October 13th
*** Siska from Singapore wrote ***:
I will Stand In Black always.
I am sad that the year ended the way it did, I cannot lie. But I am looking forward to next year. You do have a few trophies to defend. Although it will not be the same without some of the old boys – it has been a pleasure watching you in the Black jersey. Thanks Guys, for a great rugby experience. Have fun playing in Europe. Show them how it is done :)
To Richie – I am wishing that next year comes soon. Can not wait to see you playing rugby again. I will be cheering you and the Crusaders. How fun will it be with Ali on the team, eh? I will miss Jacko, Azza, and Rico, and Johny of course. But I know you can lead the new-look Crusaders well, as always. And I hope you are still keen on being the AB captain. You are the best captain I know.
So until next year - in the mean time, have a good summer. We will be here when the season starts :)
*** Ria from Napier, New Zealand, wrote ***:
"To the men and women involved in the NZ RWC 07 squad.. thank you for going to France and giving it your all! I am proud to call myself a Kiwi and I will continue to support the All Blacks, win or lose, and you all should walk tall and keep your heads high.
To the players and especially our captain, don't beat yourselves up, that won't change to outcome. I still believe you ran out on the that field wanting to do yourself, team-mates, friends and family and all the fans and supporters in nz proud! And the reception that you received at chch airport was testament that all of ur fans believe that as well!
I just hope you all had fun up to that last game and you will all live to play another day!"
Wednesday October 17th
*** Chill from Cape Town, South Africa, wrote*** :
2007 was meant to be the year of the All Blacks. There were high hopes, in fact, people were confident that rugby’s greatest prize would be heading back to the shores of the Land of the Long White Cloud. Then on a strange night in Cardiff in October, all those dreams came crashing down by the hands of a familiar foe. France had been smarting from their unexpected loss to the tournaments dark horse, Argentina, and had been consigned to this quarterfinal showdown against the Blacks away from their beloved France. Scribes and fans alike had the result penned down before kick-off – victory to the All Blacks – it was after all their year. I have been an All Blacks fan for quite a few years and have lived through world cup heartbreaks, but before the tournament kicked off this year, I felt quietly confident that the team I had come to love would be able to do the business. However, as they ran out for the second half I caught myself thinking what if we don’t win this? I hadn’t been confident of the result, but didn’t want to come across as a woe-be-gone so I kept my opinions to myself. The result as we now know is history. I sat and watched the shell-shocked expressions of each All Black – Daniel Carter’s pained expression from the sideline was an image embedded in my head – thinking oh no I can hear the chants starting. Chokers …
I, however, am not going to attack this team. They have achieved great things over the past few years, achievements that they should be lauded for. They went to France to win, not to lose in a quarter final and people should remember that. While the fans mourned over the loss, the team I am sure were hit even harder by it. They had been working relentlessly for the past few years to achieve this elusive goal and the weight of expectation had been really high this time around. But labelling them names and discrediting their achievements does not take away the result, nor is it going to help anyone now. Those wanting to insult and name call players and coaches should try walking in the shoes of that world cup team. They put all they had into it and didn’t get what they wanted. It doesn’t make them a bad team. Their stars who have since been maligned aren’t suddenly bad players cos of this result. Life happens and sport is no different. So while we have a reason to be sad over the loss, we don’t have a reason to not support them and we certainly don’t have a right to be abusive towards anyone involved. It doesn’t matter why we lost or who is to blame, what should be remembered is that this All Blacks team has taken rugby to a new level and inspired millions around the world with their audacity, skill and passion for the game. They are not world cup winners, but to me they will always be the best in the world.
Thursday October 11th.
***Lissie from Australia wrote*** :
I support you even if you did not get Bill
Things go wrong as they sometimes will
And I am sure your trudging seems uphill
But please remember us fans that still
Think you’re a team of superior skill
And I really want to instill
The Dreams you possess you can fulfill
With the help of our best wishes & goodwill
First thank you ; because thanks to you –but mostly thanks to your captain! –I’ve met people with whom I shared and have shared great moments : chatting with the girls on the ‘Richie Blog’ or talking rugby with people in a pub after a match for instance, that’s only thanks to you!
Then, thank you because I was in the stands for your pool matches : getting sunburned in Marseille, catching a cold in Lyon (little wind) and another in Edinburgh (big wind and some showers!) and eventually crying in Toulouse (just because this was the end of MY world cup!) –it was worth it!
I had already attended rugby matches, but I had never felt I was part of the supporters, I had always ‘behaved’ as a self-controlled person (clapping when someone scored a try or succeeded his kick of a penalty). This time was different.
As an official All Black fan and a representative of the Richie Girls (the word may ‘shock’, but it’s way much easier than saying : girls chatting on a blog and supporting All Black captain Richie McCaw –even if it’s the definition of the Richie Girls!), my ‘mission’ was to live fully the matches, take anything I could take and then forward it onto the girls…
I started writing my World Cup diary but I do believe that the pics I took express better my feelings and what I lived better than the diary… So I lived your matches as my first real matches ; for the first time, I was officially an All Blacks fan, supporting the All Blacks among the All Blacks fans –I really had great moments during these 3 weeks! And being back home was a really hard time for me but you can’t be on holiday for the rest of your life otherwise you wouldn’t enjoy precious moments like these, right?
Saturday’s match was your first match without me in the stand and honestly, you can say anything you want but that’s the only reason why you lost… Just kidding! Back to serious : watching you playing from my house (and not from the stands!) was tough but I had prepared myself, I was really ready to get over it… till Betsen fainted and stopped my cheering.
I’m sorry guys, for you and for the French players, because seeing Serge lying like that on the field made me realize (I already knew it but…) that you were human beings. Like me. That however strong and confident you may seem to be, anything could happen… I’m sorry because after he left the field, I had only one thing in mind : that was not a victory for New Zealand, nor for France, that was just seeing you all alive at the end of the match –-quite far from rugby-cheering, isn’t it?
So at the end of the match, I was of course sad because I knew I wouldn’t see you in Paris the next Saturday ; but inside, I was happy because you had survived! It’s only the next day, during the last quarter final (and more precisely during the “Flowers of Scotland” that I had heard 3 times from the stands in September) that I realized that not only MY world cup was over, but also yours –and that’s why I decided to launch this support article. Because I knew that I was not the only one with this feeling…
I want you all that we will always be there for you (all of you ; because even if we are officially the Richie Girls –and boys! –we are also the All Blacks Girls –and boys!)
Message for Richie now :
Bisous to the crew of the All Blacks plane (staff, management, players and especially the captain!)
Ps : The messages published here were sent via emails ; other messages were posted in the chatterbox of the blog (but the chatterbox messages can’t be copied so they aren’t in this common message). Just know that there were many sharing the same ideas : we still support the All Blacks and we are proud of you!