I watched the All Blacks today battle a green wave of pride. Pride that took Ireland seconds from their first ever win against the men in black. Since 1905 the All Blacks have won 25 matches and only drawn one in 1973. With the clock showing the 80 minutes the All Blacks went into overdrive keeping the ball alive from one end to another to touch down drawing level and the conversion gave them the win and a devastating blow to the lucky Irish. Luck was on their side today with a try being given early which was a clear knock on by the video referee. However you can never count out a team like the All Blacks even when you have 19 points on them.
So how do New Zealand teams do it? The Kiwi league team did the same to England yesterday knocking the home nation out in the world cup semi final in the dying seconds of the game…..how come these men can produce the goods under so much pressure every time they wear the colour black? I don’t know the answer, i can only look at my own experiences when I have pushed the boat out far beyond the point of return only to look at myself and demand more and just when I think that I have given all I have and you are in the grip of defeat something special happens, somehow there is more, more than you could have ever believed you could give. For me it was climbing El Capitan Solo after telling myself, Caroline my wife and everyone who followed the trip I just couldn’t hold it together mental or physically to undertake such a task. I remember walking up to the base of the climb less than 24 hours after saying no so scared I was shaking.
I’m believe everyone has this in them it’s not just New Zealanders wearing black or any other colour. Everyone at some point will reach that crossroads, a crossroads where there are easy options and ones you know aren’t going to be easy, maybe impossible. I guess that’s when you have that look at yourself and I suggest you look deep, long and hard before you take the road you may live to regret.
15 men wearing black today believed they could win that game of rugby for 80 minutes and until they couldn’t smash, drive, tackle and put their bodies on the line, until the referee had blown his whistle then they would keep asking questions of themselves. Those questions were answered. This very well could be the first and only time an international rugby team has completed a faultless season winning all 14 matches against the best teams in the world. History books are being written as I write this and I can only begin to wonder how special that game of rugby was and what questions those men were asking.