I’m not gonna lie, I got a little bit emo-tional watching this. I think for every New Zealander around the world, those final ten minutes of the game might just have been the most intense sporting minutes we’ve ever witnessed, and this video so perfectly demonstrates that. The intensity of course being amplified in New Zealand. It wasn’t just the game, it was the heavy burden of history that came with it – the more than 20 years of being the best team but still coming up short, and the terrible year New Zealand has endured. It had to be done, for Greymouth, for the Bay of Plenty and for Christchurch most of all. As the creators of the video say, Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script than this.
I was holed up in a tiny bar in Alphabet City on the Lower East Side, the metal doors down, blocking any exit – not that anyone was going to leave. We only realised the bar was illegally showing the game when, during the haka, the bar manager told us all to be quiet because the cops were outside. It was perfect timing really, being forced to watch the haka in silence, to soak it all up – the challenge, the challenge being met. It was bloody beautiful. The bar was equal parts kiwi and French and in those final moments, the calls of “Allez la France!” grew louder while the kiwis grew more and more silent, stunned, holding our breath, hoping to just HOLD ON. Until finally, exhale. WE WON!!!
I’m usually terrible with FOMO (fear of missing out) but it didn’t bother me that night, as I caught a taxi back to Harlem at 6 30 in the morning, reading all the celebratory tweets, I could go to sleep happy knowing that the rest of the country was happy, and deserved to be. GO THE ALL BLACKS!!!!