Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thoughts on 2007

Gillian from Cape Town, South Africa

As an All Blacks fan, 2007 was all about the World Cup. My favourite super 14 team the Crusaders fought valiantly despite the reconditioning programme and eventually crashed out to the Bulls who I have to say were lucky to go on and win the Super 14 :)
The rest of the year did not always go according to plan and the devastation of the loss to France in Cardiff probably won’t ever leave just like the previous defeats. But there were many good things that came out of the rugby year.
With Pierre Spies picking up an almost life threatening disease forcing him out of all rugby indefinitely, it gave me the chance to reflect that sport is not the be-all or end-all in life. We love the game, but it’s just a part of life – it was that realisation that helped me put the All Blacks’ loss into perspective. Of course, its wonderful news that Pierre is able to continue his dream and start afresh in the 2008 Super 14.
Other wonderful rugby related issues was the emergence of Argentina in the World Cup as a true force; they surprised many and watching from a distance it was nice to see it.
The World Cup event in France was awesome – it was filled with vibrancy and colour; the locals put on the best cup ever and by all accounts, the hospitality was outstanding. Coupe du Monde 2007 was a great success.
2007 also saw me discover what I consider to be the best blog on the web. Many of us who don’t have much in common except a love for rugby came together and have formed incredible friendships because of it.

Maud from South of France

well, to begin with, I will focus on the 2 test match France/NZ in June. Caro and I discovered mister Nicolas Durand, number 9, who played against the all blacks, what a memory ! ^^

then, the Tri-nations but I just keep an eye on it with newpapers. The All Blacks won, then nothing could prevent them from winning the World Cup !

September, and the World Cup began. Big disappoitment with the loss of France against Argentina. then, the loss of NZ against France, and I kept this nightmare till the end of the World Cup (with the magnifical win of South Africa against England)

and after the world cup ? almost nothing. all the teams went back home, and we didn't have any news.

Henry is the All Blacks Coach for the next two years, what a good news !
I met Jo Maso, what a nice man he is !
and France changed their Coach, better later than never !

Caroline from Brittany, France

I was a bit disapointed that the crusaders loose the super 14 but it revealed françois steyn so it was not such a bad thing.
This summer, the all blacks won the tri-nation which was hard but they succeded pretty well. it was so nice to see their joy after. It was a good prediction for the world cup because everybody though that they could win the world cup.
So the rugby world cup:they begun well , italy ,roumania,scotland,... but unfortunalty there was france after that. In my opinion France didn't diserve to win but the all blacks didn't play such a good game and France had the will to prove that they can beat new zealand. A sad moment. But of course at the final I was for the boks. And I was so happy when they win, they deserved to win against england.
Now i am fond of toulouse and hope that they can win this year.

Siska from Singapore

2007 was still dreadful and anticlimactic. My season ended too soon in Cardiff – in a very different way than I had imagined it not too long ago. Coach Deans' departure from New Zealand rugby sealed it off as the most depressing year in my rugby history.
But there were some highlights during the year and they were:

- Rugby Roundtable. Jedi and Stafford are so amusing. I learned a lot about kiwi rugby from them.
- Canadian boys. They came to New Zealand fighting and they were not half bad, eh?
- Bledisloe Cup, got it. Freedom Cup, yep that too. Tri Nations, back in the trophy case.
- All Blacks – Portugal. It was my favorite RWC match. A lot of the Portuguese players were amateurs, I think. But oh the passion and the pride in their eyes and their excitements were inspiring!!
- Argentina. They are awesome. JMH is so hawt!!
- Personal highlights – I spent the month of August in godzone and went to, not one, but two AirNewZealand Cup matches. Auckland vs Waikato at Eden Park (my first live rugby game ever in my life) and Canterbury vs Wellington at Jade Stadium (well, it was already AMI Stadium, actually that was the first game at the newly renamed stadium and they gave away the AMI beanie and Canterbury flag as welcome gifts and I have them J)

MaryL from France

*January : was trying to get closer to our reader
*February : beginning of the Super14 without the All Blacks who were in conditionning camps
*March till June :
- Super14 : the Crusaders ended the season in Top4 but didn't make it through the finale ;
- Europe : former Canterbarian Tony marsh won the European Challenge with A.S. Clermont Auvergne but lost the national championship finale vs. Stade Français Paris. This match was Tony's last match... I will miss him!
- Meanwhile in New Zealand : France double C team met the Men in Black & Caveman became the new Media icone!

*July : Tri Nations : The New Zealanders won the tournament but lost to South Africa ; the Boks decided to send their B team to Oceania... The future proved they were right to do so
*August : some pre-RWC matches but nothing for the Graham Henry & his boyz.
*September : what the whole Rugby Whanau hade been waiting for 4 years : the RWC... Was a great moment -sharing this event (physically) with my parents & thousands of fans & (mentally) with you all... Looking forward to the RGs NZ 2011 Tour !!!
*October : - oups for the All Blacks vs. angry Bleus! A couple of days later, the death of my laptop made me realized what had happened that Saturday...(weird! I know...)
But the following Saturday, Silverfoot-Wilko cured my pain! Another cure was to watch the match (& not attend it!)
- Unfortunately for Prince William & Harry, Prince Wilko was not enough against the Rainbow Nation....

*October till December : lucky us (Northern Hempishere people) to have our national & continental championships so as to focus our hearts & minds & eyes on this new season --though we have not forgotten what our favorite national teams went through during the RWC!

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