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How Ritchie McCaw let his team down.

Ritchie McCaw goes into the All Black changing room to find all his team mates looking a bit down. “What’s up guys?” he asks.

“Well Ritchie, to be honest we’re having all sorts of trouble getting motivated for this game against Australia . We know it’s important but we’ve just beaten Argentina and South Africa in consecutive weeks and, let’s be honest, it’s only the Aussies this week. They’re pathetic and we simply can’t be bothered”.

Ritchie looks at them and says “Okay guys, I hear what you’re saying. The way I’ve been playing recently, I reckon I can beat these Aussies by myself. Why don’t you fellas go down to the pub, have a few jars and maybe catch it on telly. I really think I can do this by myself.”

The rest of the team reckon it’ll work and they agree. So Ritchie goes out to play the Wallabies by himself while the rest of the ABs go off for a few pots. After a couple, they begin to wonder how the game is going, so they get the barman to put the telly on.

A huge cheer goes up as the screen reads (after 10 minutes): “New Zealand 7, (McCaw, converted try) — Australia 0”

Darn, he’s actually beating Australia all by himself. Surely he can’t do it, can he?

Anyway, a few more beers later, the telly goes off and the game is temporarily forgotten until someone suddenly remembers, “Heck, It must be full time now, let’s see how Ritchie got on”. They get the telly put back on and look on eagerly.

There on the screen is the result: Full-time from Eden Park,: New Zealand 7, (McCaw, 1 converted try); Australia 7, (Sharpe, 1 try, Beale, 1 conversion.)

They can’t believe it! It’s a draw. Ritchie versus Australia and he single-handedly managed a draw against the Wallabies!

Delighted, they rush back to Eden Park to congratulate him. They find him in the dressing room, still in his gear, slumped over with his head in his hands. He refuses to look at them. “I’ve let you down guys,” he mumbles disconsolately. “I’m so sorry, but I’ve really let you down.”

“Don’t be an idiot skipper; you got a draw against Australia, all alone, all by yourself. And they only scored a single try, right at the death, after 79 minutes!”

“No, no, I have” says Ritchie. “I’ve let you down. I hope you can forgive me. Twenty minutes from full time, I got sent off!”

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