RUGBY

Quotes of RWC 2011 - the knockout stages

Tuesday 25 October 2011, 3:16PM
By Rugby World Cup 2011
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AUCKLAND CITY

A selection of the best quotes from the Rugby World Cup 2011 knockout stages.

"It's hard to describe, I am absolutely shagged."

- All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw was too exhausted to find words to explain what it felt like to win the Rugby World Cup.

"I went to see him in the locker room but he told me that he had just one and that he wanted to keep it. I asked him the last time too but it was his 100th cap so he wanted to keep it as well. I was unlucky but never mind, that’s okay.” Julien Bonnaire is still waiting to acquire one of McCaw's RWC 2011 match jerseys as a souvenir.

"We showed that France deserved their spot in the final."
- Les Bleus captain Thierry Dusautoir insisted his hitherto much-criticised team's performance against New Zealand dispelled any suggestion that they were lucky to progress to Sunday's showpiece.

"I'm hoping a few more people will follow me on Twitter." 
- All Blacks wing Cory Jane was looking for a social media dividend from his new status as a World Cup winner.

"It was an idea from the whole group. We walked too far, that's true, and it will cost us a lot. Titi (captain Thierry Dusautoir) couldn't hold us, we wanted to walk on so desperately and show them that we were here, as well, and that it wouldn't be an easy game for them." 
- France second row Pascal Papé on why his team advanced on New Zealand's Haka at Eden Park, inviting a possible fine for encroaching beyond the 10-metre line.

"At one point we were so close to them that they wanted to kiss the New Zealanders but I told them to take it easy."
- Dusautoir revealed how near his players came to causing an international incident during the Haka face-off.

"Throughout that last 20 minutes, I definitely had thoughts of what happened in 2007 running through my head. It was just desperation really."
- New Zealand try-scorer Tony Woodcock's faith that his side would emerge victorious was tested by the demons of history.

"There are people out there who undermined my status as an All Black. To get the chance to prove that I am an All Black is good. I think a World Cup final is a pretty good place to start."
- Fourth-choice fly half Stephen Donald basked in the moment after he went from zero to hero by kicking New Zealand's winning points against France.

"It has been bloody outstanding. Richie and the boys just hanging in there right through the 80 minutes to win this thing."
- Head coach Graham Henry paid tribute to the effort put in by the All Blacks in withstanding French pressure.

"To wake up hung over."
- Win or lose, France coach Marc Lièvremont was in no doubt that the morning after Sunday's Rugby World Cup 2011 Final against New Zealand would be a painful one.

"No. I don't think you should touch it till you've earned it."
- McCaw had no intention of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup ... until the All Blacks won RWC 2011 with their 8-7 Final win.

"It is impossible to defend against them."
- Les Bleus' English defence coach David Ellis was more than a little concerned that France would face an almost unbeatable force in the All Blacks.

"Obviously we came here with the ambition to win and I guess in that sense we failed."
- Australia scrum half Will Genia was harsh in his assessment of the Wallabies' World Cup campaign.

"I was pretty gutted the first few days. I guess anger did creep in a little bit because I was just so gutted and didn’t really want anything to do with the World Cup and then it kind of hit me after five or six days that I realised the World Cup is here in my home country and I’m going to make the most of it like everyone else and get to the games."
- Dan Carter revealed how he learned to love RWC 2011, despite the injury which ruled him out.

"Ugly rugby can be good rugby, so it's important not to underestimate the French."
- Former All Blacks number 8 Zinzan Brooke, having read criticism of France's style of play at this World Cup, knew it could prove successful.

"All rugby matches are aggressive and the All Blacks are aggressive. We saw that in the match against Australia. They are not angels, either. But that is the way the game is played. It is normal."
- France prop Nicolas Mas expected to receive a few hard hits during the Final.

"I'd say good luck. My French isn't good enough to say too much more."
- Australia's Kiwi coach Robbie Deans is not usually left short for words, but admitted to being unable to do anything more than wish the French well against New Zealand in the Final.

"I think every kid did and if they say they didn't then they're lying. You're always out there practising, maybe kicking the winning goal or scoring the winning try."
- All Blacks fly half Aaron Cruden before living out every child's dream of playing in a World Cup Final.

"I am who I am. I'm going to play the way that I play and whether you like it or not, that's me."
- Wallaby Quade Cooper was defiant after the semi-final defeat by the All Blacks.

"History is history, mate. This is a World Cup semi-final and history means nothing."
- Australian skipper James Horwill scoffed at suggestions that the All Blacks choke in big matches.

"I don't know if you saw me, but I was on halfway, jumping up and down, doing pirouettes, and jumping up and down like a fairy. I was carrying on."
- Centre Adam Ashley-Cooper explained his unbridled joy after Australia's thrilling last-eight victory over South Africa.

"I was down the Waikato River whitebaiting. I think Ted (coach Graham Henry) had missed me a couple of times and then I finally got a call from Milsy (Mils Muliaina) and he said, 'Start answering your phone, you idiot', so that was sort of the message I needed."
- Stephen Donald was caught by surprise when getting the call to replace injured fly half Colin Slade in the New Zealand squad.

"Just keeping Aaron Cruden off his skateboard has been the major thing. Last week he was skateboarding around Palmerston North, having a couple of beers and watching us play. Now he's the number-one 10 in the country."
- Henry admitted there were unforeseen problems in introducing 22-year-old Cruden into his squad.

"Three notches lower than a funeral."
- South Africa coach Peter de Villiers described a sombre mood in the Springboks dressing room after the quarter-final defeat by Australia. 

"Yesterday we had the same players out there as in Wellington against Tonga, except that they grew a big pair of balls.”
- Lièvremont pinpointed the exact reason for the turnaround in Les Bleus' quarter-final success against England.

"We always believed that we could do it, but it shows that you've got to do more than believe."
- England centre Manu Tuilagi admitted confidence is not as good as points after his team lost their quarter-final against France.

“The management got a cake, but the players had tiny slithers and the management had the biggest slices.”
- Wales captain Sam Warburton, who turned 23 on October 5, said celebrations were muted.