Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Man Of The Moment

“Cometh the hour, cometh the man” has become a bit of a hackneyed phrase over the last few weeks as a succession of All Black first fives have found themselves unexpectedly taking the pitch at the Rugby World Cup, as the first, then second, then third choice pivots for the men in black succumbed to painful groin and knee injuries. But in the case of Stephen Donald, it’s a statement worth pausing on for a moment. The salient lesson from Donald’s cool slotting of the winning penalty kick in the World Cup final is that when you give people a second chance they so often come back stronger and hungrier than they were before, wiser and better for the experience. Such was the case for Donald, who was widely written-off after he played a key role in the All Blacks’ loss to the Wallabies in Hong Kong last year, but rose to the occasion on Sunday night. Past adversity and experience made him the man for the moment. Graham Henry is another case study in the power of a second chance. The “Great Redeemer” was given a reprieve after the Cardiff disaster four years ago, and has now won the ultimate redemption of his own: The Webb Ellis Cup come home at last.

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