So the All Blacks finally put their 24 year old ghosts to bed and won the Rugby World Cup for the second time in their history, but it was far from simple as many, including myself, would have thought. They won the game 8 – 7 with the winning kick coming from Stephen Donald, their fourth-choice fly half who wasn’t even included in the initial World Cup squad.
With Dan Carter, Colin Slade and Aaron Cruden all suffering from the injury jinx, there’s one thing for sure, I wouldn’t want to be the next player to pull on the All Black number 10 jersey. I can’t think of any other instances in rugby where it has felt like a jersey is cursed, but know from being a Liverpool fan that it has happened mostly with the Anfield number 7 shirt, with less than 50% of players wearing it, performing well:
Kevin Keegan; Kenny Dalglish; Nigel Spackman; John Aldridge; Peter Beardsley; David Speedie; Dean Saunders; Nigel Clough; Steve McManaman; Vladimir Smicer; Harry Kewell; Robbie Keane; Luis Suárez
Regardless of their injury jinx, the All Blacks fully deserved to lift the Webb Ellis trophy, going undefeated and scoring 301 points in seven matches, cementing their position as the best rugby playing nation on the planet.