Bigger Than Massive
So the All Blacks have so far managed to meet the massive expectations of an entire nation and will contest the final of the Rugby World Cup next weekend. I’m not sure if there is a word that surpasses ‘massive’, but if I knew what it was then I’d be using it right now.
New Zealand’s opponents are the much-maligned French who lost two of their group games, beat a poor England team in the quarter-final and then were extremely fortunate to beat a Welsh team robbed of their leader, Sam Warburton, after less than 20 minutes.
The All Blacks dare not lose and will need to show the same determination and focus they displayed in dispatching Australia in the semi-final. The danger is that they will go into the final with a fear of losing and could freeze if the unpredictable French show any of the flair we know they are capable of. The men in black must instead go into the match with the desire to win.
Graham Henry’s role as the leader off the field will be crucial in instilling that mindset of desire rather than fear. He must role-model the thoughts and behaviours that will release his players to thrive on the inescapable pressure. That’s what great leaders do.
Come on you All Blacks.