Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All Blacks groin curse continues...

New Zealand national rugby union teamImage via WikipediaWELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Colin...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

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    :'(All Black groin curse continues: Carter, Slade ...and now Weepu
    Piri Weepu. Photo / Getty Images
  • Wondering what went wrong with All Black Piri Weepu's goalkicking in the Rugby World Cup final on Sunday night?

  • Look no further than the groin curse which has hit the world champions over the past six weeks.

  • It's been revealed Weepu injured his groin in warm-ups before Sunday's final, but decided to play anyway.

  • First-five eighths Daniel Carter and Colin Slade had already been invalided out of the tournament with groin injuries that needed surgery.

  • Weepu told Fairfax Media, while his injury wasn't severe it did partly explain his uncharacteristically poor performance in the final, when he was subbed after 50 minutes.

  • "I wasn't ready to come off. I had a tweak of my groin before the game started and I guess the coaches were only looking out for what was best for the team. If that means taking someone off because they're not 100 per cent, you're doing it for the team's cause and obviously it worked out."

  • Weepu's form had seen him shortlisted as one of six players for the IRB's Player of the Year award.

  • "I had doubts in my mind that if I did kick the ball I'd definitely be pulling it and wouldn't be able to run around for the amount of time that I did."

  • He told Fairfax the last half hour of the game was tough to watch from the bench.
    "Especially when they [France] had that penalty shot at goal. Fingers crossed the whole time. Then the last four minutes of the game some of us were on our knees on the sideline, holding hands, just praying to the good Lord above that he answers our prayers and obviously he did that."

  • He said extra media attention after his performance against Argentina, when his goalkicking carried the All Blacks to victory in their quarter final after both Carter and Slade had gone down, also started to affect his performance.
  • "It can get quite daunting. You've just got to manage to cope with that and put all that energy into a good cause. I tried to do that [in the final], but obviously I didn't play the best game of my career, but I'm still happy we could come away with the win."

  • Acknowledgements: NZ Herald
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