New Zealand – Italy: This exclusion on the green carpet remained in the throat of the “Azzurri”

After obtaining two goals out of two in this World Cup finals, Italy is clinging to its crazy dream of reaching, for the first time in its history, the quarter-finals.
A dream comes with exploits against New Zealand, Friday 29 September (9pm, live on TF1 and MYTF1).
A match with a special flavor for the Azzurri, whose ambitions were swept away by the Japanese hurricane four years ago.

They talk about it like it was yesterday. Evidence that the wound has not completely closed. It's time to head back to New Zealand, Friday 29 September (9pm, live on TF1, MYTF1 And live commentary on TF1info), a decisive match to determine the final standings of Group A, which could even qualify for France without having to play, Azzurri They are caught at last. The past they had never stopped thinking about for the past four years.

We rewind. It is October 10, 2019. On that day, due to Typhoon Hagibis threatening the Japanese archipelago, the World Rugby Union announced the cancellation of two matches, France-England and New Zealand-Italy, scheduled two days later. The score is 0-0 in these two matches. A decision that has no impact on the Blues or the English, but it is not without consequences for the Italians. The draw confirmed that Sergio Paris's partners were eliminated and sent home, without being able to fight All blacksqualified de facto with South Africa, the future world champion.

Screen showing the progress of Typhoon Hagibis, October 9, 2019.
A screen showing the progress of Typhoon Hagibis, October 9, 2019. – William West/AFP

During the surprise announcement made to AzzurriAlso enter the room to prepare for the day, more people (dont Leonardo Ghiraldini) have fondant in the larmes, but they don't want to defend their chances, they are hidden, they write their history in the final quarters for the next time. The first. “I feel very bitter towards the players, the coaching staff and our fans. It is very difficult to bear.”“, reacts Conor O'Shea, the coach at the time. “My men's reaction immediately turned into disappointment: Finishing the World Cup in training and not in a match is not a nice feeling. (…) I'm not saying we would have beaten New Zealand, but we wanted to finish the tournament.” On the pitch, it's a dark day for us.”

World rugby would not have taken down the All Blacks in the same circumstances!

Sergio Parisi, former captain of the Azzurri

“The organizers knew very well that there was a risk of hurricanes. They had to have a backup plan. We were ready to play in all conditions: behind closed doors, on Friday evening or Sunday afternoon. Even on the field. We played. We did not ask for anything else.”Then the captain of the Italian national team, Sergio Parisi, denounces his hasty push towards retirement. And to add: “We had the right to play this match. We cannot make such decisions. It is not fair.”

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Four years later, while the match will be played this time, that elimination on the green carpet remains on their minds. “It was truly historic because we drew against the All Blacks! (laughs, editor's note) And most importantly, we were particularly disappointed to end the World Cup this way.”Sergio Parisi confided in an interview with the team, Before reuniting with All blacks. “It was violent, too. We were informed, then we waited for the hurricane to pass, and finally we packed our bags and returned to Italy.” “If the match could have been played, we would have definitely lost it. But in terms of fairness, it was not normal.”he referred to the former third midfielder at Toulon and Stade français.

According to him, even if it is world rugby “I didn't mean to cause any harm.” To Italy, the international body was injured Squadra Azzurra. “The truth is that it would have been easier to eliminate Italy without playing. World Rugby would not have eliminated the All Blacks in the same circumstances! They would have found another date.”The man was released with 142 hats. “The feeling was mainly disappointment. Today, this episode has been completely absorbed. I have turned the page a long time ago. (…) Even if I imagine another exit.” Four years later, the young Italian goalkeeper alone will decide on her exit.

Johan Roblin

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