It was never going to be easy, the final was just a little close for comfort, but as a drama it was hard to beat. If the English needed a lesson on tenacity, bravery and courage I do hope they watched Les Bleus who were magnificent BUT our boys won and that is what history will record. From the moment Les Bleus challenged the Haka you knew it was going to be all on. I have never been in a Kiwi crowd who sang our National anthem with such pride and VERY loudly—it was emotional and passionate.
You knew this RWC was going to be special from the moment the Wakas slid silently into the Viaduct. The hosting rights were sold pretty much on the stadium of 4.5 million and that was a big call but New Zealand responded magnificently. It was not a cheap exercise going to the games but right across the Country people responded in their thousands and opened their hearts and homes to our visitors.
So thank you to Ritchie and his men for returning The Webb Ellis trophy to New Zealand. Thank you for the way you played against Australia in the semi final—I have never witnessed an All Black team play with such a clinical ferocity and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the courage, bravery and self belief in winning the final. Thank you to Jock and his team for winning the hosting rights. There were many special moments in this tournament but none more so than Jock presenting Ritchie with his 100th Cap—two warriors each with their own mountain to climb. Thank you to Ted, Steve and Wayne you were the best coaches. Thank you to Martin Snedden and his team for staging a truly remarkable occasion. I have had messages from colleagues all over the World saying it was our time—my Australian colleagues being particularly gracious. So thank you to all involved, you made New Zealand very proud – our chests are bursting with pride.