As they prepare to face the Blues on Friday in their World Cup opener, the New Zealanders are still reeling from the quarter-final elimination they suffered in 2007. The result of a “refereeing error”.
Eight years after the Twickenham miracle, the Blues were once again doomed to the feat on 6 October 2007 when it came time to face the All-Blacks in the World Cup quarter-finals. In fact, the French XV is still on the back of seven straight defeats to New Zealand, often with very heavy results, and the start of the World Cup is not reassuring either.
Under the pressure of the event, Bernard Laporte's men lost their opening match against Argentina before showing a more convincing face against Ireland (25-3), Namibia (87-10) and Georgia (64-7). However, the Lions, led by the two best players in the world, Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, are favourites.
The third most hated man in New Zealand
But just like in 1999, the Blues will defy expectations and pull it off. The French dominated the first half, yet managed to stay in touch, going into the break with just ten lengths ahead (13-3), before capitalizing on their numerical superiority shortly after returning from the locker room to equalize thanks to a try from Thierry D'Ausouture, who is in the Everywhere at Cardiff Stadium as evidenced by his 38 tackles. If the Black team regained the advantage quickly by scoring its second attempt in the match, the France national team responded five minutes later thanks to an attempt by Yannick Gozione after the first penetration by Damien Trail and another by Fryderyk Michalak.
Very quickly, it becomes clear that the test was marred by a clash between Trail and Michalak. It is enough to anger New Zealanders who are crying over the scandal. The official who blew the whistle, Englishman Wayne Barnes, who was only 28 at the time, was vilified in the local press. ” I think my biggest mistake was in 2007, with that forward pass that allowed France to have a try against New Zealand, and the ramifications were huge. I think I was voted the third most hated man in New Zealand that year, which was very impressive; He said this, twelve years later, a few months before his retirement. As a referee, you never want to make headlines whether you are right or wrong.
It would take four years for black people to internalize the injustice. And in 2011, they will actually get revenge on the Blues in the final. And this time, Mr. Joubert's arbitration will be very favorable to the blacks…
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