Saturday, September 15, 2007
With the Pool C encounter between David and Goliath about to kick off, I'm trying to make a prediction. Will the All Blacks score 80 points against Portugal, 100, or perhaps even 120?
This is the unfortunate reality when a team making it's debut at the World Cup comes up against a side that has a rich rugby heritage and is commonly known to be the best side in the world, and probably favourites to win the tournament.
Does it matter what the score is today? No. What matters, is that a minnow of the world game is getting a chance to take the field against living legends, and on the world stage in front of a global audience of millions.
Portugal will today go into the toughest battle of their lives, but believe me, they'll be loving every minute of it.
They are a developing rugby nation that, along with a few other sides in the tournament, are made up of amateur players. Every country needs to be given a chance, and unless they're given that chance, there will forever be only four or five sides in the world that stand a chance of winning the trophy.
And what would be better than having sides like Portugal, USA, Fiji, and Georgia (to name a few), being able to compete with the best.
It would challenge a few supporters egos, and some people will disagree with me, but it certainly is for the good of the game. Spread the game as far and wide as possible, and make rugby the number one sport in the world.
And as you can see by the passion shown in Portugal's first ever World Cup singing of their national anthem, it means the world to them, which at the end of the day is one of the most important parts of what rugby is all about - pride for your country.