John Roughan 's Opinion

John Roughan is an editorial writer and columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

John Roughan on the All Blacks: A tough job, and it was worth it

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All Black Tony Woodcock scores during the final match. Photo / Greg Bowker
All Black Tony Woodcock scores during the final match. Photo / Greg Bowker

Is this what it feels like to stand on the summit, breathing the pure sweet oxygen of achievement?

And thanking your lucky stars for a narrow escape.

The final push to the summit was supposed to be easy - much easier than the ridge they had to climb last week.

Last Sunday the tension was so tough you could taste it. Yesterday we were nervous because we were not nervous.

Never have so many walked the fan trail, never have so many worn the black.

Up Queen St, past the student art in Myers Park and on to the stadium, exuberance was in the air.

Never was the anthem heard with such crowd power.

The haka was a chorus of tens of thousands - if not hundreds of thousands - of people.

But from the kick-off it was clear this wasn't a walk in the park.

The final push to the summit ran into a blizzard of white garbed Frenchmen.

They tackled furiously, ran hard and knocked the black backline off its rhythm.

Before the game, the French flanker Julien Bonnaire - credited with picking the team up after the loss to Tonga - stood alone in the middle and surveyed all directions of the field, looking like Napoleon.

It was a brave fight his team put up.

They have left us too dazed to savour the summit yet.

Men like Hillary, Blake, Henry and McCaw do not say much at times like this, but some words of Sir Peter Blake come to mind: "If it wasn't hard it wouldn't be worth doing."

Whew.

- NZ Herald

John Roughan

John Roughan is an editorial writer and columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

John Roughan is an editorial writer and columnist for the New Zealand Herald. A graduate of Canterbury University with a degree in history and a diploma in journalism, he started his career on the Auckland Star, travelled and worked on newspapers in Japan and Britain before returning to New Zealand where he joined the Herald in 1981. He was posted to the Parliamentary Press Gallery in 1983, took a keen interest in the economic reform programme and has been a full time commentator for the Herald since 1986. He became the paper's senior editorial writer in 1988 and has been writing a weekly column under his own name since 1996. His interests range from the economy, public policy and politics to the more serious issues of life.

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