New Zealand v Canada, RWC2011, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, October 2011
Finally our chance to see our own boys play. Don’t get me wrong - being at any World Cup game was amazing for atmosphere. However, this was the All Blacks’ only pool match in Wellington, against Canada. It should have been an easy win, and it was at 79-15. This was not our top team; there were some players rested, bur most most notably our star No. 10, Dan Carter injured himself the day before and had to withdraw from the tournament. going into this match, New Zealand was in emotional turmoil. Why us? Not again? How can we do it without Carter? It was crazy. Plus, Captain Richie McCaw was being rested (Carter was supposed to get his first Test as AB skipper). Would we perform well? Would it gel? It did. We smashed Canada really: Zac Guildford feasted on tries this match - given his chance to start on the wing, he took it with both hands. It sometimes seems unfair or arrogant to look at a 60 point victory and pick holes in it - but the whole enjoyment of the day (which was genuine) just had a little cloud hanging over it. There were at least a couple of million people in New Zealand who were now shitting themselves.