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'That’s the nature of World Cups': McCaw on All Blacks' Final defeat to Boks

SPOTLIGHT: The All Blacks had to overcome doubt, scepticism and scrutiny as they marched into the 2023 World Cup final on October 28.

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New Zealand under the guidance of head coach Ian Foster headed into the World Cup under loads of criticism.

Leading up to the tournament, they suffered a humiliating warm-up defeat to the Springboks at Twickenham and opened the showpiece with a loss to the hosts France in the group stages.

With the confirmation of Foster already being replaced by Scott Robertson as head coach after the World Cup, the All Blacks were hardly given a chance to secure the trophy, let alone play a final.

And playing against the Springboks at Stade de France in the final made the nay-sayers’ chants just louder.

However, against South Africa, New Zealanders showed plenty of fight to stay in the contest after skipper Sam Cane was red-carded in the first half.

But it was not meant to be.

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All Blacks legend Richie McCaw watched on from the stands at the Parisian venue as the men in black squandered genuine opportunities to win the final late in the piece as the Boks held on for a thrilling 12-11 victory.

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“If you’re not even in with a chance you know you couldn’t have won but the fact that they got close, I don’t know if it makes it better or worse,” McCaw said, as reported by Nine’s Wide World of Sports.

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“As a fan sitting there watching, I felt for the guys.

“It’s one of those things that will always sit with them, that they got so close but didn’t quite nail it.

“But that’s the nature of World Cups, they’re not easy to win and you’ve got to get everything spot on when it counts.

“It was hard to see them disappointed at the end, but that’s what happens in sport.”

While the Springboks and All Blacks’ rivalry is in a good space, the trans-Tasman rivalry between Wallabies and All Blacks has been losing its ferocity each year.

Wallabies have been in shambles. Their 6-40 defeat to Wales saw them exit the World Cup at the pool stages for the first time in history.

Under head coach Eddie Jones Australia lost seven of nine Tests this year – a once unfathomably poor run for the Wallabies, and things have gone from bad to worse since.

Jones resigned just after the World Cup final, star wing Mark Nawaqanitawase reportedly met with NRL powerhouse the Sydney Roosters, and Chairman Hamish McLennan was publicly ousted from the role by six member union states.

But even New Zealanders, who claim a fierce rivalry with their neighbours across the ditch, want the hurt to stop for Australian rugby.

McCaw said New Zealand needs Australia to be successful for the betterment of both traditional rugby powerhouses.

“Obviously, disappointing from a Wallaby point of view that they didn’t get out of the group stage,” McCaw said.

“I was part of a team in 2007 that although we made the quarters, we came home well below expectations. When you’ve got people that expect better thereares a lot of questions asked but you’ve got to make sure the passion and the people who care get aligned on the things you need to do to turn it around.

“I know a lot of the players I played against who are extremely passionate and want to see Wallaby rugby and Australian rugby, in general, be successful.

“From a New Zealand point of view, we need the Wallabies to be successful to have a Super [Rugby] competition. They may not have the depth that they like but they certainly have got talented players.”

*Additional reporting Rugbypass

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