ON AIR: The Sunday Session

9AM - 12PM

Mike's Minute: Why All Blacks will claim historic three-peat

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Friday, 20 September 2019, 10:00AM


Thank goodness the Rugby World Cup kickoff has finally arrived. The dribble that has been produced this last week, to fill the gaps left by the fact kickoff hasn't actually arrived, has done my head in.

We've had stats, charts, and graphs about the chances of winning, not winning, making it out of the pool, not making it out of the pool, what the English are saying, what the Irish are saying, what the Japanese are saying, how hot it is in Japan, how much it rains in Japan, and how much baby oil is on Warren Gatland's balls (cue primary school laughter).

A lot of journos who clearly have never been to Japan before find it fascinating telling us how different Japan is from, say I don't know their regular holiday spot, like Denarau.

So kickoff can not come soon enough.

The Rugby World Cup in sporting terms is all that counts in this country, outside the Olympic Games.

World champs depending on the sport can be big, but nothing collectively beats a gold medal or the Rugby World Cup.

All that we've done this year - Aussie, Argentina, South Africa - not a second of that will be mentioned when we win this thing in six weeks' time.

More good news, this tournament seems genuinely open - not that winning before was easy - but rugby as a sport has grown to the point where we can win, and so can England, Ireland and South Africa.

Some would say Australia, I wouldn't, some would say Wales, but I wouldn't say that either.

But when we win, we will have worked harder than the previous two cups, because the global gap has closed - and rugby is better off for it.

They are calling us vulnerable in Britain. I don't buy it, on our day we will be fitter and faster, more agile, more prepared than anyone. Could someone tip us up? Yes. Would you bet on it? I wouldn't.

Our first game against the Springboks tomorrow night will be fascinating. We should win, we've got to win. Or do we? One result takes us towards Ireland, another result towards England. Which would you take?

And then we have Spark Sport - Spark will be a player as well. My god I hope they feel good about where they are at with their streaming service.

I hope it goes well for them, and I hope they don't become the story. I hope given what they're trying to do (we can come out the other side onboard with streaming) as well as victorious for a third time.

You know what? In a desperate world, sport and war are the only two things left that join us collectively.

The water cooler moments we used to share, over any number of events, sadly are long gone.

Life is so dissected and busy and removed. We all travel our own paths these days.

But the rugby is a time and place thing that speaks to the vast majority of us, it is impossible to overstate its importance in our lives and culture. Specifically All Black rugby in a World Cup year

Will we win? Yes. I said it in 2011 and in 2015, and I am happy to say it again. It's going to be awesome.

ON AIR: The Sunday Session

9AM - 12PM