Masoe expects All Blacks to prevail
October 17, 2011
Former All Black Chris Masoe is now plying his trade in France with Castres © Getty Images
Chris Masoe believes that France have a mental edge over New Zealand but he does not believe that it will enough to stop the All Blacks from lifting the Rugby World Cup in Auckland on Sunday.
France have stumbled their way into the game's showpiece event, sneaking out of their pool with just two wins to their name before upsetting England in the quarters and then recording the most fortuitous of wins over a 14-man Welsh side in the semis last weekend.
In spite of this, the locals remain very wary of Les Bleus given that they have twice defeated them in the knockout stages of the World Cup: in an epic semi-final at Twickenham in 1999 and in a controversial quarter-final clash in Cardiff four years ago.
However, while Masoe, who was a member of the All Blacks side beaten at the Millennium Stadium, acknowledges that France will fancy their chances of upsetting their hosts, the Castres back-row does not feel that they are good enough to defeat Graham Henry's side.
"France do have a mental advantage, one can't say anything to the contrary," he is quoted as saying by AFP. "Honestly, I believe that this time the stories of 1999 and 2007 will not be repeated.
"Things are going to change and the All Blacks are going to win. Everything will depend on the capacity or the possibility of 'Les Bleus' to slow the game down. If there is rhythm to the match and a lot of movement, then it risks being a tough day for the French."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Bows, bouts and big hits, launches, lineouts and late tries. Here's the finest snaps from the last seven days: it's Week in Pictures time
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview