Auckland (New Zealand): When it emerged in the hectic buildup to Sunday`s Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and France that city officials in Auckland were already planning a tickertape parade for the victorious All Blacks, 4.5 million New Zealanders touched wood.
The officials were only being prudent. If New Zealand beats France on Sunday to win the World Cup for the first time in 24 years, a victory celebration will be expected and tickertape parades don`t plan themselves.
But for this nation of 4.5 million — 1.5 million of whom weren`t born when New Zealand last won the Rugby World Cup — planning a parade before the final against the French seemed an act of almost reckless presumption. When you`ve waited as long as New Zealand has for a World Cup victory, you don`t tempt fate.