The scoreboard showed the All Blacks won but given the difference between the teams, Namibia who were very much expected to be the underdogs, didn’t lose.
The 58 – 14 score gives the All Blacks a bonus. But it wasn’t the walk-over many had expected and will also give them lots to work on.
It’s good for rugby, and the World Cup competition, that some of the lower-ranked teams are more competitive, although Japan didn’t manage to follow up from its win over South Africa with a second upset yesterday.
While a little bit of me was backing the Cherry Blossoms, my tartan genes were happy when Scotland won 45 – 10.
The All Blacks’ World Cup campaign begins tomorrow morning (NZ time) with a match against the Pumas.
Our team is number one in the world and among the favourites to win the Cup but championships have to be taken game by game.
The Highlanders’ win over the Hurricanes in this year’s Super Rugby final is a recent reminder that an underdog can beat a favourite and this mornings Pool B match reinforced that.
Who would have thought that Japan’s Cherry Blossoms would beat South Africa’s Springboks at all, let alone 34 – 32? Georgia’s 17 – 10 win against Tonga was also a surprise.
And wasn’t it an unexpected win by Argentina against the French hosts in a previous Cup opener which led to the French meeting, and beating, the All Blacks in the quarter-final?
All my fingers and toes are crossed for the All Blacks because in spite of all they’ve done to prepare, their fitness, tactics and skill, luck will play a part in which team makes it to the final and which wins the Cup.