The Wallabies are next to no chance of winning the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
There, I said it. Now it is about time everyone came to terms with it.
Pubs, clubs, parks, backyards, beaches – you couldn’t go anywhere on the Gold Coast last Sunday without hearing about how good the Wallabies were after their 29-15 semi-final win over Argentina.
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And they weren’t just talking about it either, oh no.
There was snootiness.
Just like that time every four years when the country becomes experts in soccer during the World Cup, mates who you KNOW wouldn’t watch ten minutes of a S15 match all season nor give two Greg Birds about the Wallabies winning any other tournament are transformed into died-in-the-wool aussie-loving rugby experts.
“How good are the Wallabies? …What? You didn’t stay up and watch it? I thought you loved Union? I reckon they will win it for sure.”
You know the mate/s im talking about.
But anyway where was I, ah yes, to us winning on Sunday morning.
Look I agree that seeing Drew Mitchell bust a dozen tackles in a scintillating 80m run and seeing Adam Ashley-Cooper do something (anything) useful were both sights for sore eyes.
But our success or failure rests in the hands of two men and two men only.
Izzy and Pocock.
People will argue that we have strike right across the park that can take it to the Kiwi’s, but that ‘strike’ must perform at its best simple to stay on an even keel with the All Blacks.
You have to remember that this is a team who has SBW coming off the bench!
Only two men, Izzy and Pocock, are legitimately better than their kiwi opponents (by some margin) when they play at or past their potential.
Both men must have career-best games for the full 80 minutes for the Wallabies to have any hope of winning.
But both men are carrying decent niggles into the final.
Possibly the only advantage that Australia have going into the match is history, and the fact that the All Blacks have never won a World Cup on foreign soil.
The Wallabies have won two – both in the UK (1991, 1999) – and were it not for the boot of Johnny Wilkinson in 2003 we would be the only nation to have won the Webb Ellis Cup three times.
But the fact that we have a 66% win ration in World Cup finals will count for nothing on Sunday morning against what is an amazingly talented and balanced All Blacks side.
No matter what the papers, the coach or the Wallaby players themselves say, actually getting to the World Cup final IS enough for us.
We have already won in terms of our pre-tournament expectations.
Actually winning would be an unexpected (albeit amazing) bonus.
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