By Sir Rudolf Bing
Sir Rudolf Bing - who, for twenty-three years, was once common supervisor of the Metropolitan Opera residence.
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Extra resources for 5000 Nights at the Opera: The Memoirs of Sir Rudolf Bing
The rejuvenated French scrum splinters us, but we pile into the loose fracas and turn the ball over, then break right. Ice makes an outside break, then throws the ball away. Clerc hoofs it downfield and we’re back 10 metres out from our own line. Fuck! Nine minutes to go. Ali’s unbeatable in the air, Brendon kicks beautifully from the base, and Christophe Dominici is forced out five metres short of halfway. Eight minutes to go. We overthrow to a short lineout, and I’m crash-tackled by Dusautoir, but manage to retain possession and we go right, where Luke grubbers in behind them.
France seems to be the All Blacks’ greatest fear, our bête noir. Not always. Not even often. Just when it counts, like ’99. I’d watched that game on television. One moment in particular stays with me. France have conjured a try out of nothing and taken the lead for the first time in the game. The All Blacks are standing under their posts waiting for the conversion. They’ve stopped talking. No one is saying a word. At one point the camera zooms in on Jeff Wilson, the All Black winger. I can’t put my finger on exactly what that expression is on Goldie’s face, but he looks frozen, bewildered at the turn of events.
From the scrum, Harinordoquy breaks right and Jerry gets trapped in their side of the ruck. Seems like a harsh call from Barnes, but he’s at least being consistent, nailing Pelous for the same thing, and me too, early in the game. Lionel Beauxis misses the shot, and Dan tries a fiddly drop-out that almost gets us into trouble, but at 30 minutes gone, 10 to go, our game is still tracking well. But right on 30, Jerry’s carrying the ball up when Dusautoir hits him so hard with his shoulder and head that it charlies Jerry’s quad and cripples him for the rest of the game.