x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

New Zealand simply cannot lose

This New Zealand team cannot possibly lose to this France team when they meet.

Even unlikely scenarios will not stop All Blacks

There is no such thing as a sure thing in sport. Apart, of course, from Sunday's World Cup final in Auckland.

This New Zealand team cannot possibly lose to this France team when they meet.

Not even if the star All Blacks No 7 gets needlessly sent off for a tip tackle early in the piece.

Even if their No 12 and No 15 were sent off, too, they would still be marginal favourites against their opponents.

Not even if the host nation go out for dinner tonight and a renegade French waitress expatriated to Auckland poisons their lasagne.

Or if the referee, Craig Joubert of South Africa, fails to spot an American football quarterback-style forward pass to gift the French a try, while the peerless All Black fly-half is sat in the stand, injured. Or if one of France's two scrum-halves unnerves the home players with a sledge of "four more years, boys".

Or if New Zealand get so far ahead by half time that they do not bother to turn up for the second half, safe in the knowledge that the French have not got the heart to come back from there. And even if they do threaten to, the men in black can always just give the ball to their unstoppable winger to end the debate. Or if their overpriced playing jerseys start to feel a little tight around the neck, and induce a little splutter when the winning post is in sight.

What could possibly go wrong? Home win

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