Tim Walker’s Result

Tremendous as New Zealand’s record breaking 62 – 13 win over France yesterday was, the highlight for me came long before the final whistle blew.

I believe it was just the 6th minute when Brodie Retallick stormed the French attack, charged down a kick, lumbered forward, retrieved the ball, stumbled a few more metres then dotted down to become the All Blacks’ First Try Scorer

Effectively it took only seven minutes to win that game. Such was the All Blacks intensity in that opening period; such was their intent, their commitment and their self belief, the woeful French never stood a chance.

…Makes me wonder though, did this towering behemoth of a man have any idea that he was paying $41? Did he have any inkling at all that his 6th minute act could have had a simple country lad screaming at the top of his voice and fist-bumping the air around him?…

This game ought to have quelled and lingering doubt about the All Blacks’ past lacklustre performances; as a wise man recently asserted: any team will only ever play to the standard of their opposition – it is extremely difficult to maintain a high level when your opposition is not.

…Mind you, despite that one bet affording me an over four hundred percent return, every other wager comprising my ten pronged attack failed quite considerably; Nehe Milner-Skudder, who just needed to score twice – as many players did, including Tawera Kerr-Barlow of all people – after scoring once in the first, come half-time took to the sidelines nursing a sore bloody shoulder…

Regarding this game against the French, unlike the lesser games against the lesser teams I believe the All Blacks were genuinely scared of losing and were therefore psychologically prepared for a massive game; hence their scintillating performance.

…So that one fizzled spectacularly, as did my 21 point winning margin which, oddly enough, was met exactly with that first unconverted try after half time then subsequently blew out….

In the lead-up to the Namibia match for example, while every player might well have been heard quoting something along the lines of, “Oh nah, we’re not taking this game lightly”, in their heads there was no genuine urgency because realistically, there was no way they could ever convince themselves that it was going to be a tough game; thus their comparatively low standard.

…In conclusion, gambling is a brilliant pastime. Providing it’s kept under control and only ever uses money that can afford to be lost, what a rush…

South Africa have returned to form and should present a difficult, but not unassailable, opposition next week

…On that note, my other ‘One Pick for a Million’ finalist is out; this year I truly expected to see a New Zealand/Ireland final but, well, there you go…

The question now: which team will New Zealand meet in the final?



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Anne I Lited-French

Photography by Wynn Wae Jar



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