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.
I haven’t posted anything in a while because, well there was nothing major to report … and then just like buses (as the saying goes) loads of things happen at once!
I was asked to continue with the design elements of the PULSE services in my church, which this year is focusing on the theme of “Running On Empty? … Filled With God’s Power”.
For the first service I decided to just introduce the theme and based the intro around a video I found on YouTube a while ago where a guy took a time lapse of driving across the USA. I used the song “Road I’m On” by Three Doors Down to accompany the video and just had the theme fade in at the end and the PULSE logo to end on.
November also means one thing … rugby internationals! I managed to get to two of the three tests this year, against the All Blacks and Argentina. The All Blacks game was the second time I’d seen them play Ireland and the third time overall but I still get goosebumps when you hear the Haka live in a buzzing stadium like Croke Park! The seats were right on the touchline beside the players tunnel so was a pretty amazing spot for photos!
For the Argentina game, Jena and I were in the Hill section of Croke which also gave a pretty amazing view of the whole ground … and even though we won, we still were nowhere near convincing!
I also got word in work that I’d be spending a couple of weeks away from the AbbeyCentre helping to set up new home stores in Sprucefield and Holywood. To be honest I was dreading it, because it was total carnage trying to organise how we were getting there and what shifts we were working … but having just finished the Sprucefield store, I have to admit I really did enjoy it.
Don’t get me wrong, I mean it was hard work and there were nights I came home feeling like I’d been 12 rounds with Joe Calzaghe, but meeting people from other stores as far away as Edinburgh and Aberdeen was really cool. Seeing the whole shop take shape and knowing that I was part of it was also a really good feeling … I don’t normally speak about work in such a positive way but this time I really enjoyed it … see if I feel the same this time next week when I’ll have done it all over again in Holywood!