Oh, Christ! France are tonight partying like it’s 1999 all over again. Somehow, even though New Zealand had something like 70% possession and France had to put in something like 170 tackles, the French came up trumps.
So much for my predictive skills. At this rate we are looking at a Scotland-Fiji semi on the other side of the draw!
Seriously though, I am absolutely gutted for the New Zealanders. They spent the last four years doing everything they possibly could to win the World Cup. For an age they have been the top-ranked country in the world, and needed this World Cup title to cement their position in the pantheon of greats. Now their only win in the tournament has receded further back into the mists of time, and the tag of chokers sticks faster to them.
The fact that they strolled through the pool stages virtually unopposed probably did them no good. France were in a dog fight from the get-go, and particularly after losing that first match to Argentina, had to be on top of their game from then on. That made a difference tonight, but it has to be said that New Zealand were desperately unlucky to lose their first choice scrum-half and both their out-halves to injury.
So, it’s wide open from now on. I will not reveal who I support from now on , as my support is obviously a curse!